UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards Picks and Predictions

Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards

UFC: Saturday, August 20th at 10:00 PM ET

The Line: -- Kamaru Usman -350 / Leon Edwards +275 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards face off on Saturday in the main event for the welterweight title at UFC 278 at Vivant Arena in Salt Lake City. Usman is the Champion while Edwards is ranked second. 

These two fighters last faced off in 2015 and it was Usman that secured the victory. Usman outstruck Edwards 48-25 and won by unanimous decision. 

Kamaru Usman comes into this fight with a 20-1 record overall and he is quickly becoming one of the best UFC fighters ever. Since coming into the UFC Usman has gone 15-0. Each of the last six wins have been for a championship belt. Usman is averaging 4.66 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.59 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 3.0 successful takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 40 percent of the takedown attempts. He also stops 100 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. Usman is an elite wrestler, but he has now also become a knockout artist which has made it even more difficult for his opponents to prepare for him.

On the other side of this fight is Leon Edwards who sits with a 19-3 record overall and he has won nine of his last ten fights. The only other fight was a no contest against Belal Edwards. In the last fight against Nate Diaz, Edwards had four takedowns and that led to the unanimous decision victory. Edwards is averaging 2.62 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.15 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.48 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 35 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 70 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

I expect Edwards is going to make this fight competitive, but I still don’t think he has the skill set to get the job done here. Usman has added the knockout, but against Edwards, he is going to use the wrestling first, and this is going to be a grind-it-out type of fight. Usman is going to get the job done, but it’s going to be by decision. If you want to use this fight in a parlay, Usman on the money line is best in that spot. 

Shane’s Pick Kamaru Usman By Decision

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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