UFC 278 predictions – MMA Combating

UFC 278 predictions – MMA Combating

Kamaru Usman is inching closer to all-time greatness, while Leon Edwards is in any case getting his choice to battle for a UFC identify.

In the primary match of UFC 278 on Saturday, “The Nigerian Nightmare” is able to make his sixth welterweight identify coverage against Edwards — whom the champ defeated in 2015 by the use of unanimous selection, on the other hand has remained undefeated in all 10 bouts since then.

Usman has with regards to lapped the dep., even protective his identify two occasions successfully against each and every Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. Usman most now not too way back earned a decision against Covington this earlier November at UFC 268, while Edwards returns for the principle time in 14 months after defeating Nate Diaz at UFC 263.

The stakes are height for each and every warring parties as Usman seems to be love to take some other step closer towards Georges St-Pierre throughout the welterweight GOAT conversation, while Edwards might simplest have this one choice to accomplish his championship endeavor.

Throughout the co-main match, one-time identify challenger Paulo Costa will welcome former champ Luke Rockhold once more to the octagon for the principle time in over 3 years in a pivotal middleweight matchup. Other main card matchups include Jose Aldo taking on the surging Merab Dvalishvili, Wu Yanan will face Lucie Pudilova in a bantamweight tilt, while Tyson Pedro opens the PPV card against Harry Hunsucker in a gradual heavyweight showdown.

What: UFC 278

Where: Vivint Area in Salt Lake The city

When: Saturday, Aug. 20. The three-fight early prelims get started on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by means of the four-fight prelims on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. ET and is available totally on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

(Numbers in parentheses indicate standing in MMA Combating’s Global Rankings)

Kamaru Usman (1) vs. Leon Edwards (4)

Is Kamaru Usman overlooking Leon Edwards?

Usman seems to have such a lot on his ideas since defeating Colby Covington at UFC 268 — opting for up massive movie roles, having his points of interest set on boxing Canelo Alvarez, and a imaginable switch up to the light heavyweight division. While a lot of these problems can take point of interest off of the obligation at hand, Usman has showed to be laser-focused ahead of all of his identify defenses.

Since becoming champion, Covington has been slightly competitive with Usman on two separate occasions, while Gilbert Burns gave the welterweight king quite of a scare previous than finishing his longtime teammate throughout the third round at UFC 258 in February 2021.

Besides a 10-fight unbeaten streak, Edwards is bringing numerous staying power, and slightly quite of confidence into his first identify battle. If truth be told, “Rocky” feels he has a certain get advantages throughout the standup recreation and recommends that Usman use his exceptional wrestling throughout the bout — even though Usman has showed knockout power on more than a few occasions.

While many seem to be backing Edwards to dethrone the champion, Usman’s wrestling get advantages is such a fantastic weapon that he has in his once more pocket, one I utterly expect him to use successfully. Edwards will indubitably have his moments, on the other hand I expect Usman to win a formidable selection previous than more than likely moving at once to battle Khamzat Chimaev — if he’s able to defeat Nate Diaz at UFC 279.

Usman, #AndStill.

Choose: Usman

Paulo Costa (10) vs. Luke Rockhold

After three-plus years transparent of the octagon, former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold is once more for a heated matchup with the always crowd pleasing Paulo Costa.

While it’s been a longtime since Rockhold has competed, it’s been with regards to 5 years since he’s tasted victory. Some of the the most important ultimate ultimate Strikeforce veterans on the roster, Rockhold has been brutally finished in two straight away by means of Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz, and three of four appearances in conjunction with his identify loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 199. To say the least, there are numerous questions needed to be answered by means of Rockhold, most specifically, how will his chin hang up against an impressive striker like Costa?

There are also numerous questions with reference to Costa — a fighter in search of his first win in 3 years — who now not too way back left his longtime manager to be represented by means of his feminine pal, entering the overall battle on his provide contract, and who can omit what happened ahead of his UFC Vegas 41 main match bout with Marvin Vettori this earlier October when his botched weight scale back resulted within the matchup taking place at gentle heavyweight? Although it was once as soon as a competitive affair, Vettori however got the duty performed.

The heat at the back of this battle has continued to build everywhere battle week and is indubitably throughout the discussion for necessarily probably the most anticipated battle on the card. Every men have such a lot on the line, in conjunction with Rockhold who, without reference to the long layoff and the losing streak, might find himself in line for a reputation battle with an excellent potency. For me, I merely have too many questions about Rockhold even if he’s indubitably got a competitive spirit this week. I consider Costa will land the huge shot all over the primary 5 minutes, pick up a much sought after victory in a battle that could be fun for as long as it lasts, and have a wild entertaining loose corporate length.

Choose: Costa

José Aldo (5) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (6)

First, allow me to get something off my chest: José Aldo deserves upper. If truth be told, for my part, he should be the one preventing Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight identify in October. Then again alas, always the gamer, Aldo puts his top-rocker spot on the line against an individual just a few 135-pounders are excited to have a look at the other side of a contract.

For Merab Dvalishvili, he in any case gets his choice to face a big establish and former international champion after a hit his previous seven fights. Of all the victories on his provide streak, none were scarier to his fellow bantamweights than his most recent win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 266 this earlier September when he overcame tremendous adversity to pick up a fantastic come-from-behind second-round finish.

At first glance, Aldo lovers were most certainly concerned regarding the matchmaking — and for superb explanation why making an allowance for the frenetic pace Dvalishvili puts on. On the other hand, the additional you dive into it, the additional you take into account that it’s an exquisite superb stylistic matchup for the former featherweight champion. Dvalishvili has exceptional wrestling, on the other hand Aldo is arguably the most productive defensive fighter throughout the history of the sport with tremendous battle I.Q. and he possesses 90 % takedown coverage, plus, a huge putting get advantages.

Combating in altitude most certainly favors Dvalishvili, on the other hand I think Aldo will come out and get off to a snappy get began where he’s able to to stuff the takedowns and make the Georgian standout pay on the toes. I consider Aldo will continue to have success throughout the midway degree of the second round previous than Dvalishvili lands a takedown to thieve some momentum. Throughout the third, that’s where problems might get precise sticky for Aldo. In any case, I think Dvalishvili being as hittable as he’s confirmed prior to now will be the difference maker, and Aldo will grasp on after a tough third round to earn a competitive selection win to hopefully earn a reputation shot.

Choose: Aldo

Wu Yanan vs. Lucie Pudilova

Welcome once more to the UFC, Lucie Pudilova.

After a tough first run with the promotion where she out of place her final 4 octagon bouts, and went 2-5 general, Pudilova has lengthy long past 5-1 in six appearances for OKTAGON to earn her way back to the UFC.

Yanan will look to keep away from a identical future as she enters the bout on the heels of three straight away losses, and a 1-4 start to her UFC run.

While Yanan has some technical prowess to her, to me, Pudilova seems to have her confidence in a great place, plus quite additional of a dog mentality to come back again by means of when the going gets difficult. I expect a competitive battle, on the other hand I’m going with Pudilova to just want it additional down the stretch to pick up her first UFC victory since February 2018.

Choose: Pudilova

Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker

Look, I get it. Whilst you spotted this battle was once as soon as opening up the primary card, you most likely threw your hands up throughout the air with a stunned look for your face. Then again allow me to make certain: this battle is going to be super fun for the couple of minutes that it lasts.

Tyson Pedro and Harry Hunsucker are going to get after it in their gentle heavyweight matchup. In their 23 combined professional bouts, only one battle has lengthy long past to a decision. As my colleague Jed Meshew likes to say, now we now have two guys who like to get, or get got, and that’s what we’ll most certainly see on Saturday night in Salt Lake The city.

Pedro is the additional technical striker, while Hunsucker is going to get right kind in Pedro’s face. Unfortunately, that method will most certainly lead to Hunsucker’s early lack of existence as I expect Pedro to get a vicious knockout at around the halfway degree of Round 1.

Choose: Pedro

With my man AK on a much sought after vacation, and since I received’t do this very steadily, I felt the need to highlight one other battle on the card — maximum usually because of I believe Alexandr Romanov is a horrific problem in this heavyweight division that has, slightly frankly, develop into a lot more crowd pleasing and fun. “King Kong” will close out the prelims together with his greatest take a look at up to now in Marcin Tybura.

Throughout the ultimate 12 months to 18 months, more youthful, hungry, and perilous contenders have emerged throughout the heavyweight division. We’ve now not too way back seen it with guys like 29-year-old Tom Aspinall and 30-year-old Sergei Pavlovich, and something tells me that on Saturday night, the 31-year-old Romanov will join them in that conversation. When Romanov were given right here into the UFC, he was once as soon as a rough matchup for numerous guys throughout the division and he treated most of his fighters accordingly — in any case, the Juan Espino battle was once as soon as quite odd, on the other hand a win is a win. In his most recent bout against Chase Sherman, a now slimmer, additional yoked up style of Romanov gave the impression and he seemed each little little bit of the astounding -2500 favorite throughout the two-minute affair.

Tybura has quietly develop into a perennial contender throughout the division, a hit 5 of six, he holds a BJJ black belt, and has never been submitted in 29 professional fights. He moreover hasn’t faced the kind of wrecking ball grappler that Romanov is, and any individual who doesn’t need to make it look stunning to hunt out success.

Saturday night will be the skilled Alexandr Romanov coming out birthday celebration, and I hopefully actually really feel that he is going to maul his opponent and develop into the principle to ever post Tybura throughout the process. I am moreover confident that Romanov will battle for a UFC identify throughout the next 18 to 24 months.

Choose: Romanov

Preliminaries

Jared Gordon def. Leonardo Santos

Sean Woodson def. Luis Saldaña

A.J. Fletcher def. Ange Loosa

Amir Albazi def. Francisco Figueiredo

Jay Perrin def. Aoriqileng

Victor Altamirano def. Daniel da Silva

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