UFC heads right back to the octagon on August 20 for UFC 278 in Salt Lake City. The card is headlined by Kamaru Usman, the pound-for-pound best fighter defending his welterweight title against Leon Edwards. For expert UFC 278 betting advice, you’ll want to keep reading. We’re offering three bets on the card’s top fights right here!
Usman vs. Edward Betting Pick
Usman has been the P4P number-one-rated fighter for almost a year now. He remains undefeated in his UFC tenure (now 14-0) and it’s no surprise that the most popular UFC betting sites have pegged Usman as a clear-cut gambling favorite over Edwards:
These two have fought before, way back in 2015 at a UFC on Fox event. It was a unanimous decision for victory for Usman at the time and one that looked like many other wins early in his career — methodically wearing out his opponent with takedowns. The scorecards had Usman victorious 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
But a lot has changed in seven years, positively so for both. Edwards hasn’t lost once, going 9-0-1 including wins over Rafael dos Anjos, Nate Diaz, and Vicente Luque. In the Diaz fight, which was the most recent, Edward’s much-improve striking game was on full display. Edwards went toe-to-toe with one of the UFC’s best brawlers and he absolutely decimated him (aside from the end of the fight, which is what fans will remember).
But at the same time, Usman has also refined his stand-up game. Almost out of nowhere, he’s become one of the sport’s best knockout artists. Usman has stopped a who’s-who of stars that includes Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and Jorge Masvidal (this KO, in particular, was absolutely crushing). We sense the UFC 278 rematch will be fought more on their feet, rather than on the ground like the first meeting.
We can’t neglect to mention that Usman is recovering from a broken hand. He sustained the injury in a back-and-forth war with Covington in 2021 and hasn’t fought since. Could that, plus natural ring rust, negatively affect Usman in this one? It’s certainly plausible hence why we’re bringing it to your attention.
Regardless, we’re taking Usman as our best UFC 278 bet. Even in the event that his striking goes backwards, his takedown ability is strong enough to fall back on. Usman should cruise to another victory and then after that, one would think Khamzat Chimaev awaits.
Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili Betting Pick
At bantamweight, two title contenders will throw down in the UFC 278 semi-main event. Odds aren't quite available yet, but when they are posted, we fully expect the top online sportsbooks to have it as a betting toss-up between Dvalishvili and Aldo, the UFC legend.
Honestly, this is classic Dana White bookmaking — putting a fast-rising contender against an aging star familiar with the casual audience. It’s the exact predicament we find ourselves in here. Dvalishvili has strung together seven consecutive wins, the last one including a stunning comeback against Marlon Moraes. Aldo, on the other hand, is in the midst of a mini-resurgence. The 35-year-old — yes, only 35 despite being in the limelight for so long — has pulled out three straight wins of his own. Heck, Aldo is ranked third in the division, while Dvalishvili is six.
The fight is also a quintessential styles clash. Aldo, even at this age, remains an elite striker. On the other hand, Dvalishvili is a wrestling specialist. But to Aldo’s credit, he’s a notorious anti-wrestler (e.g. defends against takedowns very well). But that was in his prime and as you’d expect, some of that ability has tailed off.
This is a tough UFC betting pick, but we’re going with Aldo. Dvalishvili was almost stopped by Moraes and Aldo is more lethal striking. Throw in his insane cardio and we’re betting that Aldo pulls off a split-decision win over Dvalishvili.
Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold Pick
The careers of both Costa and Rockhold are both in a free-fall, which only complicates betting matters. Seriously, making a pick between Rockhold and Costa is no layup. Rockhold, a one-time middleweight champion, hasn’t stepped into the octagon since 2019. He’s dropped three of his last four fights. Costa is on a two-fight losing streak of his own — looking quite overmatched in both defeats.
Regardless, we're siding with Costa here. We mean, there's just no telling in what shape Rockford is in after such a long layoff. Generally speaking, long periods of inactivity aren't beneficial in this sport — just ask Conor McGregor. Rockford hasn't won a fight in five years and we don't expect that to change come UFC 278.
How To Bet On UFC 278?
The three UFC 278 bets we covered above are only a small sample size of what’s available to gamble on. The card’s other fights, in the prelims and main, are also bettable, plus props on the night’s biggest matchups. To see the full list of UFC 278 betting odds, check out one of the bookmakers listed in the table below.
One last tip before we let you go: cash in a sign-up bonus to make your UFC 278 bets “on the house.” These bonuses pay serious amounts of free play — up to $2500 at some bookies — and you could use that on UFC 278 wagers at will. See the table underneath to get a better idea of what killer bonuses are currently up for grabs.