Last Updated on August 18, 2022 3:11 pm by Erwin Noguera
The UFC has a stacked 13-fight card for this Saturday, August 20th, where Salt Lake City, Utah, will be hosting the UFC 278.
First of all, we get a rematch title fight in which the dominant Champion, Kamaru Usman, takes on the contender Leon Edwards as he looks to extend his dominant title run before doing another lap through the contender’s list.
We also get an exciting bout between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold, who will meet in the light heavyweight division in order to give us an exciting co-main event.
With these two exciting fights, we top a fight card with 13 match-ups and talented fighters.
We are going to take the time to analyze each of the fights on the card, in order to be prepared for what this numbered event brings in for all fight fans.
With 8 prelims and 5 fights on the main card, we have no time to waste, so let’s get right into it.
You can check all the UFC/MMA bets, the analysis of each fighter, and the final bet you can make in this fight.
UFC 278 – Usman vs. Edwards 2 – Betting Odds and Free Picks – Info
When: Saturday, August 20th, at 6:00 pm ET
Kamaru Usman -400 / Leon Edwards +295
Paulo Costa -370 / Luke Rockhold +278
José Aldo +107 / Merab Dvalishvili -131
Marcin Tybura +316 / Alexandr Romanov -416
Tyson Pedro -769 / Harry Hunsucker +501
Jared Gordon -285 / Leonardo Santos +223
Lucie Pudilová -135 / Yanan Wu +111
Sean Woodson -344 / Luis Saldaña +264
Miranda Maverick -625 / Shanna Young +423
AJ Fletcher -156 / Ange Loosa +127
Amir Albazi -454 / Francisco Figueiredo +329
Aori Qileng -158 / Jay Perrin +130
Victor Altamirano -178 / Daniel Da Silva +144
Draw Offs: –
Where Can I Watch? ESPN +
Where Can I Stream? ESPN Go
UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards
Why Bet on Kamaru Usman
The Nigerian-American Usman, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in MMA today, will be looking for his sixth defense of the UFC welterweight title after thwarting Colby Covington (twice), Jorge Masvidal (twice), and Gilbert Burns since he won the belt with a decision win over Tyron Woodley.
Why Bet on Leon Edwards
Edwards, a native of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, will be getting his first crack at UFC gold.
He earned the opportunity to fight for the title with nine consecutive victories, including triumphs over the likes of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, Rafael dos Anjos and Nate Diaz, whom he defeated by decision last summer.
Final Betting Analysis: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards
Edwards is as tough of a challenger as Usman has faced, but it’s still hard to imagine the champion losing this fight.
He seems to have his challenger beat in most areas that are likely to matter in the matchup, and he has a massive advantage in championship experience to lean on in the unlikely event that things start to get dicey.
Edwards should fare much better against Usman than the likes of Jorge Masvidal did, but he will ultimately experience a similar fate: watching as the man whom he hoped to beat leaves the Octagon with the belt that he hoped to steal.
UFC 278: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
Why Bet on Paulo Costa
The 31-year-old Brazilian established himself as a top middleweight after signing with the UFC in 2017.
He began his UFC career with a 77-second knockout of Garreth McLellan and then backed that up with a string of second-round stoppage wins.
Costa finished Oluwale Bamgbose and then took out former champion Johny Hendricks, before earning Performance of the Night offers by stopping Uriah Hall.
He then secured the biggest win of his career in 2019 when he bested Yoel Romero over three rounds.
That secured Costa a shot at the middleweight title, but he was no match for Israel Adesanya on the night, losing KO/TKO in the second round.
Why Bet on Luke Rockhold
Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is ending a three-year absence from the UFC.
He has not stepped inside the Octagon since being knocked out in the second round by Jan Blachowicz to leave himself with a 16-5 record in his light-heavyweight debut in July 2019.
Final Betting Analysis: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
Luke Rockhold’s punch resistance appeared to be waning and he has not fought in three years.
That spells trouble against a big-hitter like Paulo Costa, who has been active and has some big power in his hands, so we are backing the Brazilian to win by stoppage.
UFC 278: José Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Why Bet on José Aldo
The 35-year-old Aldo (35-7) is considered one of the greatest MMA fighters in history and probably the best featherweight.
Aldo now competes at bantamweight, however, where he’s ranked fourth in the division behind champion Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, and TJ Dillashaw.
Why Bet on Merab Dvalishvili
The 31-year-old Dvalishvili is from the country of Georgia and is 14-4 in his professional career.
He is ranked No. 6 in the bantamweight division but with a bullet.
However, Merab might not be long for that weight because he’s buddies with the champion Aljamain Sterling and has said they will never fight.
Dvalishvili has hinted at the possibility of dropping down to flyweight.
Final Betting Analysis: José Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili
It’s hard to pick against Aldo given the run he’s on.
Expect his experience and hand speed to be enough to give “Junior” the edge on the feet.
Merab could certainly make this a dirty fight for the aging Aldo and that makes this match one of the contenders for the fight of the night.
We have our token placed on the Brazilian fighter for this one, but it will likely be a close contest.
UFC 278: Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov
Why Bet on Marcin Tybura
Tybura has fought a who’s who of past and present top Heavyweight talent.
He has won five of his last six, so he’s actually rebuilt nicely following a rough patch in 2019.
Why Bet on Alexandr Romanov
Unlikely as it may seem, Romanov is real, and he loves nothing more than duplexing fellow big men through the sky.
Undefeated in five trips to the Octagon, the Moldovan talent has finished all but one of his opponents.
Final Betting Analysis: Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov
There are definitely some promising aspects of Romanov’s fighting style and overall UFC success, but he’s yet to face anyone on the level of Tybura.
If he can take this step up and knock it out of the park, that says a lot about Romanov’s overall potential inside the Octagon.
Tybura is a tricky man to wrestle, so for Romanov to overcome that style match-up would really be quite impressive.
Likely, the bout will be decided by Tybura’s ability to scramble up and defensively wrestle.
If the Polish athlete is able to bounce back up and force Romanov to keep chaining takedowns, it will quickly sap his opponent’s gas tank and leave him vulnerable.
UFC 278: Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker
Why Bet on Tyson Pedro
About five years ago, Pedro was maybe Light Heavyweight’s top prospect.
At 25 years of age, he was undefeated and had recently finished Khalil Rountree and Paul Craig.
His rise came to a grinding halt when Pedro lost three of his next four, then injuries kept him out of the cage for three years.
He returned successfully earlier this year with a step down in competition and subsequent knockout win, and Pedro is now looking to make it two in a row.
Why Bet on Harry Hunsucker
Hunsucker is still searching for his first UFC win.
He’s winless (0-2) at Heavyweight, so “The Hurricane” will shed some pounds and try his hand against a slightly smaller opponent.
Final Betting Analysis: Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker
Overanalyzing is not necessary here, because Pedro is the far superior fighter.
He’s better on the canvas, on the feet, and he’s far more athletic.
Hunsucker was not a particularly quick Heavyweight, so Pedro should have a major speed advantage.
Plus, even as the fighter who has historically always fought at 205 pounds, Pedro has the height and reach advantage.
UFC 278: Jared Gordon vs. Leonardo Santos
Why Bet on Jared Gordon
Reeling from a 1-3 skid that saw him knocked out in each defeat, Jared Gordon (18-5) battled his way back into the mix with three consecutive decision victories.
This set up a clash with Grant Dawson, who choked him out late in the third round.
Why Bet on Leonardo Santos
It took him seven years to do it, but The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil 2 winner, Leonardo Santos (18-6-1) opened his UFC career 7-0-1.
The fun wasn’t to last, and he enters the cage this Saturday on the heels of consecutive stoppage losses to Grant Dawson and Clay Guida.
He has submitted nine professional opponents and knocked out another four.
Final Betting Analysis: Jared Gordon vs. Leonardo Santos
Gordon may exploit Santos’ poor cardio to wear him down for a late finish, and that’s by far the likelier outcome for the match.
Santos is far from washed at 42 years old, having held his own against Dawson before the late finish and nearly finished Guida in the opening minutes, but it’s clear that he can no longer sustain his offense for a full 15 minutes.
Gordon, on the other hand, has the sort of gas tank he can weaponize.
Though it wouldn’t be surprising to see Santos find early success with his grappling and power shots, he’ll be running on fumes by the time Gordon finishes warming up.
In the end, Gordon snowballs in the second and third for a TKO finish or wide decision.
UFC 278: Lucie Pudilová vs. Yanan Wu
Why Bet on Lucie Pudilová
Lucie Pudilova (13-7) put together consecutive wins over Ji Yeon Kim and Sarah Moras before exiting UFC on the heels of four straight losses, though she did secure two post-fight bonuses along the way.
She’s since won five of six in her native Czech Republic, most recently in April 2022.
Her four professional finishes are split evenly between knockouts and submissions.
Why Bet on Yanan Wu
Wu Yanan (12-5) rebounded from a UFC debut loss to Gina Mazany with a bonus-winning armbar of Lauren Mueller that saw “Mulan” defy 3:1 odds.
She’s managed just three fights in nearly four years, coming up short each time via decision.
Final Betting Analysis: Lucie Pudilová vs. Yanan Wu
This match is a battle of Wu’s movement and variety against Pudilova’s aggression and willingness to throw heat.
Pudilova should get the win by a hair.
That’s because for all that she dances around the cage, Wu isn’t particularly difficult to hit, and she doesn’t have the offensive wrestling to neutralize Pudilova the way others have in the past.
UFC 278: Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldaña
Why Bet on Sean Woodson
Starching Terrance McKinney on Contender Series earned Sean Woodson (9-1) a UFC berth, which he opened with a decision over Kyle Bochniak and a comeback submission loss to Julian Erosa.
Then came consecutive victories over Youssef Zalal and Collin Anglin, the latter of which marked his first Octagon finish.
Why Bet on Luis Saldaña
Saldana capped off a four-fight winning streak with a front kick knockout of Jordan Griffin on the Contender Series, earning a UFC contract along the way.
He currently sits at 2-1 in the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, a decision loss to Austin Lingo sandwiched between decisions over Jordan Griffin and Bruno Souza.
Final Betting Analysis: Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldaña
Even with the caveat that a foot injury contributed greatly to his loss to Lingo, Saldana’s prospects look grim, thanks in large part to his inability to fix the cardio issues that have dogged him all through his UFC tenure.
While his movement and kicking skills could serve him well against Woodson’s boxing, it’s hard to have much faith in Saldana when he can only execute for about five minutes.
Between Woodson’s height, length and volume, the prognosis seems clear: Saldana finds early success with mobile pot-shotting, only to fall deeper and deeper into a hole as his legs slow down and Woodson finds the mark with increasing regularity.
UFC 278: Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young
Why Bet on Miranda Maverick
Miranda Maverick (12-4) started her UFC career 2-0 before dropping a robbery decision to Maycee Barber and a far more justifiable one to fast-rising Erin Blanchfield.
She last saw action in March 2022, choking out Sabina Mazo for her second finish in the Octagon.
Why Bet on Shanna Young
Shanna Young (9-5) fell short on Contender Series against Sarah Alpar before losing her first two UFC bouts to Macy Chiasson and Stephanie Egger.
With her back against the wall, “The Shanimal” successfully pounded out Gina Mazany to notch her first Octagon victory.
Final Betting Analysis: Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young
With all due respect to Young, it’s hard to picture a scenario where she wins this.
Every single UFC fighter who’s attempted to take her down has done so, and it wasn’t just because of Young’s poor takedown defense; she willingly clinched up with a judo expert in Egger, which ended about as well as you’d think.
Maverick’s going to get plenty of opportunities to get her ground game going and is well-equipped to capitalize.
The big question here isn’t whether Maverick will win, but how long she’ll humor Young on the feet before dragging her down and going to work.
UFC 278: AJ Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa
Why Bet on AJ Fletcher
Fletcher is still young, both in years and experience in the sport.
He is an explosive athlete and an impressive wrestler, but he’s going to need to remain effective beyond the first round, or hope for the early finish he was able to collect so frequently on the regional scene.
Why Bet on Ange Loosa
Loosa impressed against a tough opponent in a short-notice debut.
Though he is on the short side for welterweight, Loosa makes up for it with an abnormally long reach for his size.
It has allowed him to engage in some entertaining, high-paced striking battles, though he has also fallen short in those.
Final Betting Analysis: AJ Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa
Loosa’s durability and toughness are likely to see him survive beyond the first and it’s likely his fight from there given the altitude of SLC.
Expect Loosa to take a hard-fought and entertaining decision.
UFC 278: Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo
Why Bet on Amir Albazi
He’s a plus athlete in a division full of athletes.
He has an aggressive submission game and his striking has been improving too.
The Swede has looked like a world-beater at times in his brief UFC run, but that has only been two fights in the space of two years.
In other words, he’s been his own worst enemy due to his long absences.
To be fair, he hasn’t been at fault every time a fight of his has fallen out.
Regardless, in a division where age factors in sooner than any other division, he can’t afford to be on the sidelines any longer.
Why Bet on Francisco Figueiredo
Francisco Figueiredo isn’t going to be mistaken for his brother, but he does have some power and surprised many with his submission prowess when he secured a kneebar in his last appearance.
What holds Figueiredo back is his size. It isn’t that he’s small; he’s on the big side of the division.
It’s that he needs to pace himself as he doesn’t have much in reserve after making weight.
Final Betting Analysis: Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo
Albazi tends to push a high pace and that might be the decisive factor for this match.
It’s hard not to anticipate Albazi running rampant over his Brazilian counterpart, provided he has acclimated to the altitude.
UFC 278: Aori Qileng vs. Jay Perrin
Why Bet on Aori Qileng
The third time proved to be the charm for Aori Qileng, securing a win in his third UFC contest after coming up empty in his first two UFC contests.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it coincided with his decision to move up to bantamweight after struggling with the cut to 125.
Against Cameron Else, Qileng looked stronger, faster, and more energetic.
Why Bet on Jay Perrin
Perrin may be the smaller fighter in the cage, but he is an absolute bulldog on the mat with excellent instincts.
His best chance to win will be to catch Qileng in a scramble as it’s hard to see him winning a firefight with Qileng.
Final Betting Analysis: Aori Qileng vs. Jay Perrin
Perhaps Perrin can control Qileng for long stretches as he is the more technical wrestler, but Qileng is a crafty scrambler.
Qileng is the better athlete, and harder puncher, and has proven he can dig deep.
UFC 278: Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel Da Silva
Why Bet on Victor Altamirano
The controversy appears to be the only thing following Victor Altamirano.
Altamirano won a controversial split decision to earn his UFC contract and dropped a controversial split decision in his official debut.
Given Altamirano isn’t a high-profile name, the controversy is largely being forgotten about.
At least he’s proving to be fun to watch, engaging in fast-paced firefights with plenty of scrambles.
Why Bet on Daniel Da Silva
The Brazilian is a classic case of kill-or-be-killed, firing out of the gates looking for the finish at a pace that is impossible to hold for 15 minutes.
Of his 14 career fights, only two have left the first round, none going beyond the second.
Final Betting Analysis: Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel Da Silva
Da Silva is the better athlete, but the toughness and fight IQ of Altamirano is going to be tough to overcome.
Either Da Silva finds success with an early high-risk maneuver or Altamirano survives the early onslaught to put his exhausted opponent away.
The latter appears more plausible.
Usman vs. Edwards Betting Pick: Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman
Costa vs. Rockhold Betting Pick: Paulo Costa
Aldo vs. Dvalishvili Betting Pick: Jose Aldo
Tybura vs. Romanov Betting Pick: Marcin Tybura
Pedro vs. Hunsucker Betting Pick: Tyson Pedro
Gordon vs. Santos Betting Pick: Jared Gordon
Pudilová vs. Wu Betting Pick: Lucie Pudilova
Woodson vs. Saldaña Betting Pick: Sean Woodson
Maverick vs. Young Betting Pick: Miranda Maverick
Fletcher vs. Loosa Betting Pick: Ange Loosa
Albazi vs. Figueiredo Betting Pick: Amir Albazi
Qileng vs. Perrin Betting Pick: Aori Qileng
Altamirano vs. Da Silva Betting Pick: Victor Altamirano