The UFC heads to the VivintArena in Salt Lake City, Utah, for its PPV this weekend. UFC 278 will take place on Saturday, August 20, and the action will start at 6 p.m. ET with the early preliminary card on ESPN and ESPN+. The main event of the evening will feature Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight title against #2 Leon Edwards.
Usman is ranked as the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter. He has a career record of 20-1, with nine victories by knockout and one by submission. Usman lost his second career fight back in 2013 and has won every fight since. He is undefeated in the UFC and will be defending his title for the sixth time.
His most recent fight came against Colby Covington in November of 2021; it was their second meeting. Covington was Usman’s first career title defense at UFC 245 in December 2019. Usman knocked out Covington in the fifth round in that bout. In the rematch, Covington kept it closer and the fight went the distance. Usman picked up the unanimous decision victory on the bank of two knockdowns and leading in both total and significant strikes. Covington did lead in control but couldn’t convert any of his 11 takedown attempts.
Before that fight, Usman defended his title in another rematch as he took on Jorge Masvidal for the second time. Usman picked up the unanimous decision victory in the pair's first matchup, but the rematch didn’t last as long. Usman secured the second-round knockout over Masvidal by punches. Few things went well for Masvidal in that fight as he couldn’t attempt a takedown and didn’t register a second of ground control. He did outstrike Usman, but obviously, it didn’t end up mattering. Usman landed a solid right which made Masvidal smile in a taunting manner. Usman responded with another round that put Masvidal to sleep where he stood, and Usman finished the fight on the ground within seconds.
Quick knockouts with his right hand aren’t anything new for Usman. When he faced Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 in February of 2021, he won by second-round knockout. Only 20 seconds into the second round, Usman snuck a right through Burns’ guard that stunned him and caused him to fall on his back. Usman looked for an opening and landed a hard right hook as he began his grand and pound game. Burns attempted to fight back, but it was to no avail as Usman was relentless in his attack to pick up the victory.