UFC 278 Predictions, Odds and Results: Usman vs Edwards 2

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UFC 278 Predictions, Odds and Results: Usman vs Edwards 2

Pintsized Background

UFC 278 settles in Salt Lake City, with Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards picking up their beef that started back in 2015. Both fighters have rounded their skillsets over the seven years, with Usman picking up the belt and establishing himself as one of the current P4P greats. In all honesty, the co-main event between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold promises dumb striking fun fight that garners the most excitement.

UFC 278’s featured preliminary involves two meaty, sweaty Eastern European wrestlers. Marcin Tybura never really climbed to the heights of the Heavyweight division as expected, with Romanov fitting a similar billing – if a smidge athletically superior. The pick of the prelims is Jared Gordon and Leonardo Santos in what should prove an intriguing chess match on the mat.

Where/When is UFC 278 taking place:
August 20, 2022. Vivint Arena. Utah, United States.

What time does UFC 278 start:
🇬🇧 UK: 11pm / 🇺🇸 US ET: 6pm

What channel is UFC 278 on:
🇬🇧 UK: BT Sports / 🇺🇸 US: ESPN+

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Ladies and gentlemen, the MMA Goat | UFC 278 Predictions
Ladies and gentlemen, the MMA Goat

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UFC 278 Picks & Odds

UFC 278 Fights & OddsWinnerMethodRound
Kamaru Usman (-360)
Leon Edwards (+295)
UsmanDecision/
Paulo Costa (-360)
Luke Rockhold (+295)
CostaTKO3
Jose Aldo (+110)
Merab Dvalishvili (-130)
AldoTKO2
Lucie Pudilova (-120)
Yanan Wu (+100)
PudilovaDecision/
Tyson Pedro (-730)
Harry Hunsucker (+530)
PedroTKO1
Marcin Tybura (+285)
Alexandr Romanov (-345)
RomanovDecision/
Jared Gordon (-265)
Leonardo Santos (+225)
GordonTKO3
Sean Woodson (-340)
Luis Saldana (+280)
WoodsonDecision/
AJ Fletcher (-155)
Ange Loosa (+135)
LoosaDecision/
Amir Albazi (-435)
Francisco Figueiredo (+350)
AlbaziDecision/
Aoriqileng (-140)
Jay Perrin (+120)
AoriqilengTKO3
Victor Altamirano (-165)
Daniel da Silva (+140)
AltamiranoSubmission3
Odds are based on BestFightOdds.com. All odds of 18 August 2022.

UFC 278: Main Event

Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards

Welterweight (170)

UFC Welterweight Championship

Kamaru Usman (20-1)

Remember when Marty Snoozeman was universally hated? Back-to-back wars with Colby Covington and a highlight reel finish over Jorge Masvidal have done a ton in repairing the Nigerian’s image. In the locker, however, Usman will always have his grinding, cage-heavy grappling. As an experienced champion nearing the end of his shelf-life, expect less Wittman-influenced striking and a natural reversal to safer tactics.

The fight itself has a true chance of boredom. At the very least, this fight screams championship rounds. Edwards is conservative on the feet, utilising his range and awkward jab to shut down opponents. Usman has tapped into his power with accurate, sharp straight shots, but as seen against Burns, his humble hand speed can be countered. Edward’s lacks the high pace to unsettle Usman on the feet, but the Brit is far cuter on the outside. Usman’s gas tank is a strength that can be fallen back upon, however – with Edwards steadily falling off and unravelling defensively throughout a fight.

Leon Edwards (19-3)

Leon Edwards has more than earned his crack at the title. Scalps over Donald Cerrone (notably, less weathered), Rafael dos Anjos and Vicente Luque justify the Birmingham man’s ascension. The best aspect of Edward’s game is his ability to snatch rounds. Edwards doesn’t lead fights particularly well, nor does he set a visibly dominant pace, but he oozes quality in the clinch and short combinations at distance.

Edwards has to remain alert to Usman creeping into the pocket. Not only does Edwards fall out of shape over extended combinations, but it also closes the distance for a takedown avenue. In the clinch, Edwards can physically match the Nigerian while also offering fight-altering damage. Much of the threat stems from Edward’s elbows on the exit, a danger neutralised if Usman pins Edwards to the cage. Without his typical backup plan of out-wrestling opponents to secure rounds, there is a chance that an increasingly frustrated Edwards opens himself into punishment late.

Predicted Result: Usman Decision

Edward’s lacks the ferocious pace of Covington which unsettled Usman on the feet, but the Brit is far cuter on the outside. This isn’t due to Edward’s exceptional leadership of a fight. Edwards, instead, coasts regarding dictating pace or position over a fight. The Brit oozes class in short combinations on the outside, with the speed and range to punish Usman’s powerful straight shots. In the clinch, Edwards can physically match the Nigerian while also offering fight-altering damage. Much of the threat stems from Edward’s elbows on the exit, a danger neutralised if Usman pins Edwards to the cage.

Worryingly, Edwards has to remain alert to Usman creeping into the pocket. Not only does Edwards fall out of shape over extended combinations, but if Usman closes the distance then he opens up wrestling avenues. In the early rounds, Edwards is technically sharp enough to hold his own. Unfortunately, the Brit physically drops off by the championship rounds – in addition to suffering mental lapses that can be ill-afforded against one of the most consistent UFC champions to date.

Result: Edwards def. Usman // KO (head kick) Round 5 4:04

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Decent bit of length on ol' Snoozaman | UFC 278 Predictions
Decent bit of length on ol’ Snoozaman

Return to Fight Card


UFC 278: Co-Main Event

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold

Middleweight (185)

Paulo Costa (13-2)

With his last victory as far back as 2019, you would be forgiven for thinking Costa was on a slide. Israel Adesanya broke Costa mentally and physically over two rounds, but the Brazilian has taken the time on the sidelines to recuperate. A five-round war with Marvin Vettori should only have boosted Costa’s stock, even with the meme-man catching the L. Costa lay down a pulsating 163 significant strikes, with each one thrown with the intent of knocking the Italian Stallion’s head off. Without worrying weight troubles in the lead-up to Saturday, Costa’s natural power and explosive combinations have to be backed with cracking a wide-open chin.

Luke Rockhold (16-5)

Yes, Rochhold’s is defensively flawed on the feet. Sure, Luke’s last victory was in 2017 (and last successive victories occurring in 2015). And of course, Rockhold’s chin is a fine mixture of biscuit and paper. He still remains one of the most offensively potent fighters in the division. A vicious kicking game, a phenomenal submission arsenal and an athletic specimen – don’t be surprised if Rockhold can break Costa in a similar systematic fashion as Adesanya. Most likely, however, is the fight will descend into war after the first-round and Rockhold’s long injury list will catch up to him.

Predicted Result: Costa TKO Round 3

For all the flaws in Rockhold’s game, he still owns a vicious kicking game and phenomenal submission arsenal, in addition to being an athletic specimen. As surprising as it may seem, Rockhold has the tools to systematically break down Costa in a similar-ish fashion as Adesanya. Most likely, however, is the fight will descend into war after the first round and Rockhold’s long injury (and paper chin) list will catch up to him.

Result: Costa def. Rockhold // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Dana's privilege to get between Costa and Rockhold | UFC 278 Predictions
Dana’s privilege to get between Costa and Rockhold

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UFC 278: Main Card

Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili

Bantamweight (135)

Jose Aldo (31-7)

What’s the use of a long career of anti-wrestling if fans still believe you will be mangled on the mat? An insane 90% TDD throughout his UFC tenure, Aldo was able to deny Marlon Vera (0/3 TD), Rob Font (1/5 TD) and Alexander Volkanovski (0/3 TD) over recent fights. That isn’t to say that Merab won’t sink a couple, owing to his relentless attempts and the extra weight at Bantamweight, but it is incredibly hard to keep the Brazilian veteran down. Aldo is slowing with age, albeit slowly, but he can certainly keep pace for the first two rounds. Aldo can stamp his mark onto rounds, an important tool against a blistering pace fighter like Dvalishvili.

Merab Dvalishvili (14-4)

Living up to his name, The Machine is a ferocious chain-wrestler with an endless gas tank. Even if Dvalishvili cannot keep Aldo down, it will burn through Aldo’s ageing gas tank and lead to mistakes later down the line. There will be periods on the feet that the Georgian will have to navigate, however. His striking has refined, especially tying together combinations, but he lacks any threat on the outside. Against a clubbing counter-puncher in Aldo, the Georgian’s body will be chopped apart.

Predicted Result: Aldo TKO Round 2

Living up to his name, The Machine is a ferocious chain-wrestler with an endless gas tank. Even if Dvalishvili cannot keep Aldo down, it will burn through Aldo’s ageing gas tank and lead to mistakes later down the line. Still, Aldo has long been a phenomenal anti-wrestler. Although the Georgian’s striking has refined, especially in combinations, Dvalishvili still lacks any threat on the outside. Against a clubbing counter-puncher, Aldo will be able to tear apart Dvalishvili’s body.

Result: Dvalishvili def. Aldo // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Lucie Pudilova vs Yanan Wu

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Lucie Pudilova (13-7)

Lucie Pudilova returns to the octagon after a failed yet fun first stint. The Czech fighter has attempted to implement more technical striking on the outside, but her skillset isn’t designed to out-class opponents. Pudilova is best at her very messiest, creating brawls and digging deep. Still, Wu is God-awful and will face an athletic mountain to climb.

Yanan Wu (13-5)

With all-out aggression, Wu digs into her durability in the hopes that she can unravel opponents through blistering pressure. Old Pudilova would be able to meet Wu in the middle and trade 50/50. With the Czech fighter now leading with the jab on the outside, Wu is too open to be hit. This isn’t assured, though – Pudilova lacks the power to dishearten Mulan and the Chinese scrapper can be occasionally slick on her entries.

Predicted Result: Pudilova Decision

With all-out aggression, Wu digs into her durability in the hopes that she can unravel opponents through blistering pressure. Old Pudilova would be able to meet Wu in the middle and trade 50/50. With the Czech fighter now leading with the jab on the outside, Wu is too open to be hit. There isn’t a massive technical gulf – Mulan could certainly overwhelm Pudilova’s newfound technical approach, but I’m favouring the form fighter.

Result: Pudilova def. Wu // TKO (elbows) Round 2 4:04

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker

Light Heavyweight (205)

Tyson Pedro (8-3)

Has anyone seen the comments that Pedro’s father has made in the build-up? Only in MMA, folks. The Aussie hits really damn hard and carries fearsome enough power to force a classic Hunsucker mental snap. It has to be noted that Pedro was outgunned and outlasted by Shogun Rua’s corpse in 2018. Defensive worries shouldn’t be an issue considering his firepower keeping Hunsucker gun-shy.

Harry Hunsucker (7-5)

Harry Hunsucker is effectively the feeding machine for Oceania fighters. Justin Tafa via head kick, Tai Tuivasa via GnP and soon-to-be Tyson Pedro via hands delivered first-class. Hunsucker succeeded on the regional scene with confident power punching against less than stellar opposition. Devoid of confidence, Hunsucker is afraid of incoming damage and in turn, eats more damage.

Predicted Result: Pedro TKO Round 1

Pedro’s defensive worries shouldn’t be an issue considering his firepower keeping Hunsucker gun-shy. Add in Hunsucker’s mental snap, afraid of incoming shots in recent fights, and it seems an easy back. Still, it has to be noted that Pedro was outgunned and outlasted by Shogun Rua’s corpse in 2018.

Result: Pedro def. Hunsucker // TKO (body kick and punches) Round 1 1:05

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


UFC 278: Preliminary Card

Marcin Tybura vs Alexandr Romanov

Heavyweight (265)

Marcin Tybura (22-7)

Damn, it’s almost been a full year since Marcin Tybura’s loss to Alexander Volkov. Not to say that I am over the moon to see the Pole return – he regularly delivers some of the biggest snoozefests in the division. What Tybura represents, however, is the most well-rounded wrestling threat that Romanov will face. The Pole is tighter on the feet, especially defensively, and has to be favoured to pip a decision if Romanov is unable to win the wrestling war.

Alexandr Romanov (16-0)

After a razor-thin win over Juan Espino, Romanov appears to have taken his fitness seriously which has led to greater success on the mat. The Moldovan is an aggressive, exciting wrestler who will run head-first into his preferred game. An absolute boar of a human, I’m expecting Romanov to muscle this to the mat and prove impossible to shrug off.

Predicted Result: Romanov Decision

After a razor-thin win over Juan Espino, Romanov appears to have taken his fitness seriously which has led to greater success on the mat. The Moldovan is an aggressive, exciting wrestler who will run head-first into his preferred game. Tybura is tighter on the feet, especially defensively, and has a chance to pip a decision if Romanov cannot find his way to the mat. As Romanov is an absolute boar of a human, I’m expecting Romanov to muscle this to the mat and prove impossible to shrug off.

Result: Tybura def. Romanov // Decision (majority – 28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Jared Gordon vs Leonardo Santos

Lightweight (155)

Jared Gordon (18-5)

By virtue of consistent athleticism and output, Gordon should be able to secure a prized scalp over an athletically hampered veteran. A few years ago, Santos would have been considered heavy favourites. Nowadays, Gordon is defensively savvier and can apply pressure that a forty-two-year-old Santos cannot keep up with.

Leonardo Santos (18-5-1)

Just how washed is Leonardo Santos these days? The Brazilian is still a potent offensive kickboxer with a terrifying submission game, but his gas tank and durability are sliding. The worry was the speed at which Clay Guida, a fellow veteran, was able to drain Santos (via being a punching bag to be fair). Technically, Santos is still a beast in all aspects of the fight, but his body just can’t keep up with what the brain wants.

Predicted Result: Gordon TKO Round 3

Just how washed is Leonardo Santos these days? The Brazilian is still a potent offensive kickboxer with a terrifying submission game, but his gas tank and durability are sliding. A few years ago, Santos would have been considered heavy favourites. Nowadays, Gordon is defensively savvier and can apply pressure that a forty-two-year-old Santos cannot keep up with.

Result: Gordon def. Santos // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Sean Woodson vs Luis Saldana

Featherweight (145)

Sean Woodson (9-1)

After a veteran humbling to Julian Erosa, Sean Woodson has rebuilt his confidence to TUF-levels. The Sniper is a varied, explosive striker that plays into his freakish frame. Pushing out a ridiculous volume, it is in large part because of Woodson’s lack of physicality/power to stop opponents from walking into the pocket freely.

Luis Saldana (16-7)

Saldana is at least a live body for Sean Woodson. Woodson has shown increasingly aggressive starts since the Julian Erosa loss, while Saldana will be comfortable entertaining early firepower. If Woodson can’t close the fight, Saldana will ask the same questions that Erosa posed – has Woodson developed enough?

Predicted Result: Woodson Decision

Woodson has shown increasingly aggressive starts since the Erosa loss, while Saldana will be comfortable entertaining early firepower. If Woodson can’t close the fight, Saldana will ask the same questions that Erosa posed – has Woodson developed enough? Backing Woodson’s variety on the feet and extended bursts of volume.

Result: Draw (split – 27-29, 29-27, 28-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


AJ Fletcher vs Ange Loosa

Welterweight (170)

AJ Fletcher (9-1)

The return of the T-Rex. Fletcher is exceptionally explosive, but as seen in his UFC debut against Matt Semelsberger, he is forced to eat damage to close the distance. Granted, it is relentless wrestling that builds the foundation of Fletcher’s game. Fletcher may have taken the L, but he showcased a top gas tank and solid chin to boot.

Ange Loosa (8-3)

Loosa is a surprisingly adept scrambler, tapping into his athleticism. Consistent prying with the jab or teep will provide regular barriers to Fletcher’s desperate attempts to shoot. Loosa’s lack of head movement will see him getting tagged by Fletcher’s bursts, but it will be the American’s wrestling that swings the fight.

Predicted Result: Loosa Decision

Loosa is a surprisingly adept scrambler, tapping into his athleticism. Fletcher is a relentless wrestler with a strong enough gas tank to consistently ask questions of Loosa. The Swiss’ consistent prying with the jab or teep will provide regular barriers to Fletcher’s desperate attempts to shoot.

Result: Loosa def. Fletcher // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Amir Albazi vs Francisco Figueiredo

Flyweight (125)

Amir Albazi (14-1)

Fighting once a year is a worrying trend for the Swedish prospect. A glittering submission arsenal, ridiculous physical gifts and capable of leading fights – it is frustrating to watch Albazi idle on the sidelines. Figueiredo proved last time out that he can be a handful on the mat, yet Albazi won’t be dishearted from dominating from top control.

Francisco Figueiredo (13-4-1)

BTEC Figgy silenced some of the haters with his exceptionally slick kneebar over Daniel da Silva. On the feet, Figueiredo is largely one-pace with occasional glimpses of explosive artistry. Albazi’s liquid jab will likely prove a step too far for Figueiredo to overcome.

Predicted Result: Albazi Decision

BTEC Figgy silenced some of the haters with his exceptionally slick kneebar over Daniel da Silva. On the feet, Figueiredo is largely one-pace with occasional glimpses of explosive artistry. Albazi’s liquid jab will likely prove a step too far for Figueiredo to overcome. Add in the Swede’s glittering submission offence and natural physical gifts – and there could be a late stoppage on the cards.

Result: Albazi def. Figueiredo // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 4:34

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Aoriqileng vs Jay Perrin

Bantamweight (135)

Aoriqileng (26-9)

The Mongolian is an athletic specimen with a ridiculous chin that supports his hectic, risk-happy striking. Cameron Else was out of his depth in the UFC, but Aoriqileng’s clubbing power is more than enough to dispatch regional fighters.

Jay Perrin (10-5)

A swanger n banger, Jay Perrin is an entertaining brawler but it’s never a good sign to be dominated by Mario Bautista. Perrin is unlikely to takedown Aoriqileng seeing as the vastly superior wrestler, Cody Durden, struggled to take it to the mat. Stranded on the feet, Aoriqileng is the more durable, harder-hitting, aggressor.

Predicted Result: Aoriqileng TKO Round 3

A swanger n banger, Jay Perrin is an entertaining brawler but it’s never a good sign to be dominated by Mario Bautista. Perrin is unlikely to takedown Aoriqileng seeing as the vastly superior wrestler, Cody Durden, struggled to take it to the mat. Stranded on the feet, Aoriqileng is the more durable, harder-hitting, aggressor.

Result: Aoriqileng def. Perrin // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Victor Altamirano vs Daniel da Silva

Flyweight (125)

Victor Altamirano (10-2)

Coming up short in a DWCS debutant showoff with Carlos Hernandez, Altamirano showcased the very best of his skill set. A baiting low lead hand, porous striking defence, and combination kickboxing. With a gas tank and mental fortitude to plug away for fifteen minutes, Altamirano could run away with this one late.

Daniel da Silva (11-3

Back-to-back stoppage losses in the UFC have left Daniel da Silva teetering near the organisational boot. Da Silva burns his gas tank early through a delectable array of spinning strikes and jumping attacks. Perhaps Da Silva will opt for a slightly more conservative approach after an 0-2 start, yet it’s most likely that the Brazilian will bank on chin checking Altamirano early.

Predicted Result: Altamirano Submission Round 3

Da Silva burns his gas tank early through a delectable array of spinning strikes and jumping attacks. Perhaps Da Silva will opt for a slightly more conservative approach after an 0-2 start, yet it’s most likely that the Brazilian will bank on chin checking Altamirano early. It’s very questionable whether Altamirano can survive a frenetic first round, but the DWCS victor has the easiest path to victory.

Result: Altamirano def. Da Silva // TKO (punches and elbows) Round 1 3:39

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Prediction Accuracy

UFC 278

Winner: 8/12

Method: 4/12

Round: 4/12

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 225/350

Method: 165/350

Round: 142/350

MMA Overall

Winner: 721/1142

Method: 487/1142

Round: 466/1142

Takeaway comments: “Pound for pound, headshot, dead” – cold words from your new UFC Welterweight champion.


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