UFC 278 Predictions: Another Lock For Kamaru Usman
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
— Updated on 30 January 2023

UFC 278 Predictions: Another Lock For Kamaru Usman

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Welcome to Octagon Oracle. Each week, we’ll set aside some time to break down the other sweet science in anticipation of the upcoming UFC event. This edition covers UFC 278 predictions, betting odds, and just a dash of armchair analysis (main card). Enjoy the hostilities and gamble responsibly.

You know fight fans are spoilt when UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards II represents the least exciting PPV affair slated for the remainder of 2022. It’s almost as if this is the broccoli before we get to enjoy dessert(s): Khamzat Chimaev vs Nate Diaz, Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev, Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira.

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Still, there’s plenty to be grateful for regardless of how obvious the outcome for at least two bouts — Kamaru Usman’s sixth title defence against previously conquered territory in Leon Edwards and Luke Rockhold’s long-awaited return, which pits the former middleweight champion against Paulo Costa.

Here are our predictions for UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards II.

UFC 278 Predictions (Main Card)

Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards II

  • Division: Welterweight
  • Records: Kamaru Usman (22-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) | Leon Edwards (19-3 MMA, 11-2-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Kamaru Usman (5-0) | Leon Edwards (4-0-1)
  • Rankings: Kamaru Usman – Champion | Leon Edwards – #2
  • Boss Bet Odds: Kamaru Usman – $1.26 | Leon Edwards – $3.90

Armchair Analysis

It’s hard to imagine Kamaru Usman losing an MMA bout against anyone who isn’t named Colby Covington. As reflected by the betting odds – and the general sentiments of anyone who pays even the slightest attention – he’s the #1 P4P UFC fighter, undefeated since 2013/undefeated in the UFC, and in the form of his life.

That isn’t to discount the accomplishments of Leon Edwards, either, who’s been on quite a win streak… since losing to Usman via unanimous decision during their first encounter in 2015. There are levels to this game. And with a toolbox as complete as The Nigerian Nightmare’s, the welterweight crown ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Our bet’s on Kamaru Usman.

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold

  • Division: Middleweight
  • Records: Paulo Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) | Luke Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC excl. Strikeforce)
  • Recent Performance: Paulo Costa (3-2) | Luke Rockhold (2-3)
  • Rankings: Paulo Costa – #6 | Luke Rockhold – Unranked
  • Boss Bet Odds: Paulo Costa – $1.29 | Luke Rockhold – $3.60

Armchair Analysis

Years ago, this would’ve been a very different fight. Suffice it to say, Father Time has not been kind to Luke Rockhold. As some of you may know, the ex-division champion’s chin hasn’t recovered since losing the belt to Michael Bisping in one of UFC history’s greatest upsets. And who knows what kind of form he’ll be in after three years away from the cage?

I couldn’t think of a worse match-up for the bloke than Paulo Costa who, despite being on a two-fight losing streak to current middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and the formidable Marvin Vettori, packs dynamite in his hands. Assuming Borrachinha actually makes weight.

Rockhold might stand a chance if he leans on that world-class grappling arsenal of his but our bet’s on Paulo Costa.

Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili

  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Records: Jose Aldo (31-7 MMA, 13-6 UFC) | Merab Dvalishvili (14-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Jose Aldo (3-2) | Merab Dvalishvili (5-0)
  • Rankings: Jose Aldo – #3 | Merab Dvalishvili – #6
  • Boss Bet Odds: Jose Aldo – $2.05 | Merab Dvalishvili – $1.78

Armchair Analysis

Where Luke Rockhold appears to be a victim of Father Time, Jose Aldo has somehow sidestepped him. In defiance of everything we’ve come to understand about professional mixed martial artists, he’s managed to curb his three-fight losing streak – a losing streak against absolute monsters, mind you – to continue asserting dominance in his mid-30s.

You don’t successfully defend the UFC featherweight title seven times (nine if you count the WEC days) by being just another hungry scrapper from the favelas. What we will give Merab Dvalishvili credit for, however, is the fact he finished Marlon Moraes while Aldo lost via split decision. Although the MMA math doesn’t always stack up.

Our bet’s on Jose Aldo.

Marcin Tybura vs Alexander Romanov

  • Division: Heavyweight
  • Records: Marcin Tybura (22-7 MMA, 9-7 UFC) | Alexander Romanov (16-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Marcin Tybura (4-1) | Alexander Romanov (5-0)
  • Rankings: Marcin Tybura – #11 | Alexander Romanov – #13
  • Boss Bet Odds: Marcin Tybura – $4.30 | Alexander Romanov – $1.23

Armchair Analysis

On numbers alone, the choice is clear. In Alexander Romanov, you have an undefeated up-and-comer with stellar grappling who actively hunts for the finish and seldom leaves it up to the judges. In Marcin Tybura, you have an aging pugilist who – admittedly – had a good year before being stopped by Alexander Volkov. Who knows? Perhaps experience might count for something this time around. Probably not.

Our bet’s on Alexander Romanov.

Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker

  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Records: Tyson Pedro (8-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) | Harry Hunsucker (7-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Tyson Pedro (2-3) | Harry Hunsucker (2-3)
  • Rankings: Tyson Pedro – Unranked | Harry Hunsucker – Unranked
  • Boss Bet Odds: Tyson Pedro – $1.13 | Harry Hunsucker – $6.00

Armchair Analysis

How Harry Hunsucker ever made it to the UFC is beyond me. I suppose every fight promotion needs a couple of tomato cans for a comeback crushing, Tyson Pedro having only just returned from a three-year absence. The Aussie battler recently crushed another 18-14 tomato can in Ike Villanueva.

While many would be concerned about what time away from the game has done to him, in light of the fact he’s been doing the hard yards with Eugene Bareman & Co. over at New Zealand’s City Kickboxing, our bet’s on Tyson Pedro.

UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards II is scheduled to go down this Sunday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah (Main Card Local Time — August 21st of 2022, 12 PM [AEST]).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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