UFC 278 Betting: Repeat or Revenge
The Ultimate Fighting Championship loves a good rematch, and what’s not to love? These do-overs are often, depending on the status of the headliners and the outcome of their last stoush, some of the most hyped events of the year; an opportunity for the fighters to settle a score. UFC 278 will be one such occasion. This Saturday, the crowd will flock to Salt Lake City where the octagon is ready and waiting to host UFC history.
Not satisfied with just a single beating, Leon Edwards will risk a second defeat when he takes on Kamaru Usman in the welterweight class for the first time since 2017.
The fight promises to be all of the things that please the viewing public, which is precisely why we’ve been plugged into the upcoming action for weeks. Bodog’s UFC betting odds capture the conclusions, but let’s indulge in a full physical of the Usman/Edwards showdown that will rock and/or roll through Utah’s Vivint Arena.
These Two Have History
The fight will be for the UFC Welterweight Championship, with Usman being the current holder of the title he first won in 2019 before successfully defending it four times.
Our two protagonists last entered the octagon together a lifetime ago in December 2017. That fight was only Usman’s second UFC event, but he still managed to dominate Edwards and win by unanimous decision.
On August 20th, Edwards is looking to settle the score, and UFC betting fans at Bodog are looking to capitalise on either his win or his loss. Can he pull it off? Or will he be 0-2 against Usman before the month is out?
Can Usman Repeat First Win?
Kamaru Usman is undefeated in the UFC and lost only one fight in his entire MMA career. He’s a tough opponent, to put it lightly.
Born in Auchi, Nigeria, he has earned an auspicious title as The Nigerian Nightmare, and it’s probably safe to say he’s been haunting Edwards’ dreams following their first meeting.
On paper, Usman remains the stronger of the two, landing some of the best KO’s in the UFC. Last year he fought three times, winning on a technical knockout, a knockout, and a unanimous decision. On all three occasions, he successfully defended his UFC Welterweight Championship title, and pocketed the Performance of the Night accolade on two of them.
The Nigerian Nightmare does indeed have some impressive stats, standing at 6’ 0” (1.82m) and weighing 170lb (77.1kg), though he’s not materially larger than his opponent.
When it comes to performance, though, Usman certainly stands out. He lands almost twice as many significant strikes per minute, makes double the number of takedowns, and proves almost impervious to others taking him down.
While the Nigerian-American successfully defended his title three times last year, he’s been out of action for the entirety of 2022 so far, owing to the tendon injury in his hand.
The injury has been slow to heal, but he told the press that he wouldn’t fight until he was sure his hand was fully healed. Given that he accepted the rematch, we can only assume that the hand won’t pose a risk, but we can’t dismiss the possibility that it gives him grief against Edwards. If it shows, you can be sure his opponent will be quick to pounce.
Revenge For Edwards?
Leon Edwards was just 24 and had only a handful of professional fights behind him when he first went up against Usman. A lot has changed since then, most notably the fact that “Rocky” has been undefeated since.
Edwards is hoping that his gained experience will help to settle the score, but it won’t be a walk in the park, as it never is when up against Usman.
The Jamaican-born Brit has climbed to #2 in the UFC welterweight rankings, so if anyone is in the position to beat Usman, Edwards is occupying it.
The two share a similar physique, with Edwards bringing the same height and weight as his nemesis. He does have a slightly longer leg reach, but this is offset by a slightly shorter arm reach.
When looking at his performance stats alone, Edwards is indisputably the underdog of the fight, trailing his rival in almost every metric including significant strikes and grappling.
In recent years, Edwards has been a little flakey with regards to fights. In October 2020, the UFC removed him from its official rankings after 425 days without competing in an event.
He did fight at two events in 2021, but a third was cancelled due to his upcoming opponent being ruled out by an injury. This means that Edwards will be even greener than Usman when they step into the octagon.
The Verdict: Usman is Looking Strong
As enticing as a good underdog story is to bloodsport romantics, the sensible choice here is, admittedly, Usman. With MMA betting odds of -360 next to Edwards’ +270, the market tells the truer tale.
It’s easy to see why. Usman has already beaten Edwards once, he continues to be undefeated in the UFC, and he has better stats in almost all key metrics. Ouch.
The hand injury could well remain Usman’s Achilles heel, especially if Edwards knows how to (and can) exploit it. That said, Usman has been unapologetically clear about his preparedness to hold out until he knows it’s strong enough to make devastating contact with his opponent in the cage.
Of course, this isn’t the only fight taking place at UFC 278. There’s also a jam-packed undercard promising more nail-biting conflict.
Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
Paulo Costa is the favourite for this middleweight fight against Luke Rockhold, with odds of -290. His rival currently sits at +220, and for good reason: Rockhold is 6 years older and approaching 40. He’s lost five fights in total, including three of the last four. At a certain point, for most things in life, experience is a case of diminishing returns.
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov
This fight between Tybura and Romanov is the only heavyweight fight of the night with Romanov on -360 and Tybura on +270.
Moldovan Romanov is younger (31 years to Tybura’s 36), and has far fewer losses (just one, in fact) to his name, whereas his Polish rival can claim seven. Tybura is, on the other hand, slightly taller, a few pounds heavier, and enjoys a longer arms and leg reach.
UFC betting on UFC 278 is shaping up to be a big hitter and the Bodog team can hardly wait for the main event. While the status quo is favoured, the burly Brit could absolutely steal the show, and UFC history is peppered with legendary comebacks and vengeance matches. If Edwards joins their ranks in victory, those will be some nice odds for lucky punters to have secured; or, a safer choice is there for the taking.
Prepare yourself and your bet slip – for one eventuality or another at the next brutal UFC showdown.