UFC 278 will be hosted this weekend, August 20th, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The exciting fight card will be headlined by Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, a rematch in the Welterweight division. Edwards and Usman fought for the first time in 2015, with Usman winning a Unanimous decision victory.
I will be reviewing and analyzing the matchups in this fight, as well as the UFC Co-main event between Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa, as well as the exciting Bantamweight matchup between Merab Dvalishvili and Jose Aldo. Be sure to keep reading to find out the best bets for these fights.
#3 Jose Aldo (31-7) vs #6 Merab Dvalishvili (14-4)
This is a very exciting and highly anticipated matchup in the UFC bantamweight division between two highly skilled opponents. Jose Aldo, ranked third, is a legend of the sport, and is considered by many to be the GOAT of the Featherweight division, and arguably of the sport at large. His return at another weight class with such skill is even more impressive in my opinion.
Aldo is a monster with his hand speed, leg kicks, power, and precision. He is one of the best leg kickers in the history of the sport, and is one of the only fighters that can constantly check leg kicks perfectly. If Aldo can keep his hand speed up and avoid takedowns, he has a great shot in this fight.
Merab on the other hand is a younger UFC fighter who is working his way up the ranks. He is a tremendous grappler with an amazing gas tank, and can fight at a ridiculous pace for a full three rounds. Merab will be looking to put pressure on Aldo and force him to make an early mistake.
Prediction: I believe Aldo has the skill and ability to win this fight. He’ll need to stay off the canvas in the first round in order to make that happen.
Best Bet: Jose Aldo (+120)
#6 (13-2) Paulo Costa vs (16-5) Luke Rockhold
This fight is an extremely interesting one. Costa is 13-2 in his career, with his only two losses coming in his two most recent fights. Costa struggled to make weight in his most recent fight, and is constantly talking on social media. He faces off against a 37 year old Luke Rockhold who is coming back to the Octagon for the first time in over three years. Rockhold’s final UFC fights were highlighted by his lack of chin; he was KO’d in three of his last four.
Costa is a good fighter with power and skill, but his mentality is what I doubt. He’s not committed a lot of the time, he jokes about steroids, and he fails to make weight and doesn’t care at all. I fully expect him to win this fight because of his massive power, but I think Costa’s time as a title contender has already come to an end.
Rockhold is a good grappler, and if he gets Costa on the ground I could see him stealing a TKO victory. However, Costa is definitely the safer pick here.
Prediction: Costa by KO or Rockhold by late submission
Best Bets: Costa by KO (-150) or Rockhold Submission (+1000)
Champion Kamaru Usman (20-1) vs Leon Edwards (19-3)
This fight is an exciting rematch between two Welterweight foes. Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman fought each other back in 2015, with Usman winning the fight via Unanimous Decision. Edwards since then has gone 9-0-1, and Usman is 13-0. Both fighters are on hot streaks and will be looking to ruin the other’s roll.
Usman is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC. He is a dominant wrestler with great power in his hands, good footwork, and one of the best grapplers on the planet. Usman will be looking to use his powerful hands and skillful wrestling to win this fight.
Edwards on the other hand is very skilled as well, but a more profound striker. Edwards’ hands are quick and sharp, and his technique is very impressive. I assume edwards will be looking to use diverse striking to make Usman question his entries, and then attack.
I believe Usman will win this fight fairly easily, but look forward to an exciting UFC scrap.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman to win
Best Bets: Kamaru Usman (-360), By KO (+240)