UFC 278 Betting Odds Analysis

The best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC will defend his title at UFC 278. Top-ranked Kamaru Usman will defend his UFC Welterweight Championship for the sixth time on August 20. Usman is facing Leon Edwards, and this will be the first time that Edwards has challenged for the strap. The challenger is a sizeable underdog by the UFC betting odds, but we have seen some major upsets in the UFC over the last year.

UFC 278 will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The prelims will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ with the PPV getting underway at 10 p.m. ET sharp on ESPN+.



Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2 Picks

Kamaru Usman has dominated the Welterweight division for almost four years. Usman first won the title with a unanimous decision victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019, and he has successfully retained the belt in five title challenges. He is the longest active male champion in the UFC, and Usman is looking to run down Georges St-Pierre as the most successful welterweight in UFC history.

Usman is 20-1 in his MMA career, and he has won 19 straight fights. He has repeatedly defeated the other top welterweights in the UFC with two wins over Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, and he is looking for his second victory against Leon Edwards. Usman and Edwards faced off in December 2015, and Usman won a convincing unanimous decision.

If Usman beats Edwards at UFC 278, his next opponent will likely be Khamzat Chimaev. There is a lot of hype surrounding Chimaev, and a PPV event featuring the Nigerian Nightmare and the exciting, young Chechen could be one of the five biggest gates in UFC history.

Leon Edwards is looking to be the fly in the ointment that breaks up the potential eight-figure fight. Edwards has not lost since his defeat at the hands of Usman with a record of 9-0-1 in his 10 fights since that point.

The challenger’s first five wins in that stretch weren’t impressive, but he scored unanimous decision victories over Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos. Edwards had to settle for a split decision win against Gunnar Nelson though, and his victory over fan favorite Nate Diaz last summer wasn’t something to highlight too much considering the beating he took in the final round.

Edwards hasn’t been in the Octagon since that win over Diaz, as his bout with Jorge Masvidal last December was cancelled due to an injury that Masvidal suffered in camp. The lack of seasoning and experience against top-tier foes will make it very difficult for Edwards to grab the belt.

Method of Victory: Kamaru Usman by KO/TKO (TBA)

Kamaru Usman looks to improve to 15-0 at the UFC level. (Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman UFC Betting Lines History (Last 5 Fights)

UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2
(WIN) Kamaru Usman (-265) vs. Colby Covington

UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2
(WIN) Kamaru Usman (-320) vs. Jorge Masvidal

UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns
(WIN) Kamaru Usman (-250) vs. Gilbert Burns

UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal
(WIN) Kamaru Usman (-250) vs. Jorge Masvidal

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington
(WIN) Kamaru Usman (-190) vs. Colby Covington

Leon Edwards UFC Betting Lines History (Last 5 Fights)

UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2
(WIN) Leon Edwards (-420) vs. Nate Diaz

UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad
(NC) Leon Edwards (-265) vs. Belal Muhammad

UFC on ESPN: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards
(WIN) Leon Edwards (-110) vs. Rafael dos Anjos

UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Masvidal
(WIN) Leon Edwards (-140) vs. Gunnar Nelson

UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Edwards
(WIN) Leon Edwards (-233) vs. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone

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Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili Picks

Long-time UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo is hoping to challenge for the UFC Bantamweight Championship once again. Aldo is widely considered to be the greatest featherweight in MMA history, holding the belt for nearly five years. He was the inaugural UFC champion when the WEC was absorbed by the UFC in 2010, and he successfully defended the strap seven times before losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in December 2015.

Aldo reclaimed the title when he scored a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, but he lost the belt to Max Holloway and fell in the rematch to Holloway six moths later. A subsequent loss to Alexander Volkanovski led to his decision to move to Bantamweight, and he earned a title shot against Petr Yan despite losing his first fight at that weight to Marlon Moraes. Since that point, Aldo has won three straight fights, beating Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font by unanimous decision.

Merab Dvalishvili lost two of his first three fights after turning pro. That didn’t dissuade him from continuing to train though, and he won six straight bouts to earn a UFC contract in 2017. Dvalishvili fell to Frankie Saenz by split decision in his promotion debut, and he was submitted by Ricky Simon just before the final bell sounded in his second UFC bout.

He has been on a tear up the rankings since that loss to Simon. Dvalishvili has won seven straight fights, and he earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his knockout of Marlon Moraes at UFC 266 last September. However, his previous six wins were by unanimous decision, so that makes it likely that this fight goes the distance. 

Method of Victory: Merab Dvalishvili by Decision (TBA)


Jose Aldo UFC Betting Lines History (Last 5 Fights)

UFC on ESPN: Font vs. Aldo
(WIN) Jose Aldo (+125) vs. Rob Font

UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane
(WIN) Jose Aldo (-102) vs. Pedro Munhoz

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal
(WIN) Jose Aldo (-137) vs. Marlon Vera

UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal
(LOSS) Jose Aldo (+230) vs. Petr Yan

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington(LOSS)
Jose Aldo (+150) vs. Marlon Moraes

Merab Dvalishvili UFC Betting Lines History (Last 5 Fights)

UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega
(WIN) Merab Dvalishvili (-250) vs. Marlon Moraes

UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka
(WIN) Merab Dvalishvili (-250) vs. Cody Stamann

UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3
(WIN) Merab Dvalishvili (-275) vs. John Dodson

UFC on ESPN: Eye vs. Calvillo
(WIN) Merab Dvalishvili (-700) vs. Gustavo Lopez

UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2
(WIN) Merab Dvalishvili (-175) vs. Casey Kenney

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