The welterweight championship is on the line in Salt Lake City on Saturday night when Kamaru Usman puts the belt at stake against Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 278. Usman already holds one win over Edwards, taking a decision victory in December 2015.
The Brit has ripped off nine straight wins since despite multiple layoffs because of the pandemic and injuries. He held out for his opportunity and was finally rewarded after beating Nate Diaz in 2021. Usman, meanwhile, has continued to be perfect since the first meeting as he enters on a massive 19-fight win streak. He’s beat the best of the best at 170 pounds, including a few twice.
“I think it’s a good matchup for me and that styles make fights. I think the way he competes, the way he fights matches, the way I compete, and I fight, I think he has improved — his striking has improved — but so have I. I’ve improved my striking, my grappling, my all-around mixed martial arts game.
Elsewhere on the card, middleweights in need of a big win square off when former champion Luke Rockhold takes on former title challenger Paulo Costa. Rockhold will step into the ring for the first time since 2019 and in search of his first win since 2017. Rockhold is just 1-4 since winning the middleweight strap in 2016. Costa, meanwhile, has lost two straight since beginning his career undefeated. A loss to Israel Adesanya for the 185-pound title was followed by a decision loss to Marvin Vettori at light heavyweight when he was told to stop trying to cut weight upon arrival in Las Vegas.