UFC 278 goes down this weekend live from Salt Lake City, Utah. Headling the event will be a welterweight title fight between the champion, Kamaru Usman and top contender, Leon Edwards. This is a huge opportunity for Edwards who is long overdue a title opportunity in what is a huge week for British combat sports. The co-main event sees Luke Rockhold return against the always exciting, Paulo Costa.
Fights to keep an eye on are a pivotal bantamweight clash between Merab Dvalishvili, who takes on ‘The King of Rio’, Jose Aldo. Also, Miranda Maverick returns in a rematch against Shanna Young and we have the UFC return of Lucie Pudilova taking on Wu Yanan. If these fights sound like something you want to make some money from, be sure to swing by betting.us.
UFC 278 Ones to Watch
Dvalishvili vs. Aldo
Top-ranked bantamweights clash in a fight which realistically could produce the next title challenger. ‘The Machine’ is arguably the most fitting nickname in the UFC with Dvalishvili having famous cardio. Last time out he was seemingly out of his feet when he faced Marlon Moraes, however, he leant on his cardio and was able to completely turn the fight on its head in one of the biggest comebacks of the year. Enjoying a seven-fight winning run, the Georgian will be looking to extend that run at UFC 278 when he clashes with Jose Aldo.
Aldo is also enjoying a good run of form in recent times. After starting his UFC bantamweight career 0-2, he’s rallied to put together three straight victories. His most recent two victories against Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font showed the Aldo of old, with his vicious muay Thai and boxing skills on show. If he can avoid the takedown of Dvalishvili (who lands an average of 7.30 takedowns per 15 minutes), his chances of victory increase massively. Could Aldo continue to turn back the clock and stop the in-form Dvalishvili? Or will the Georgian end Aldo’s hopes for another title shot?
Maverick vs. Young
In what is a rematch of an exhibition fight in Invicta FC back in 2019, Miranda Maverick takes on Shanna Young. In the first instance, Maverick secured the rear-naked choke to get her hand raised. Since then, Maverick has gone 5-2 and rebounded last time out having dropped two straight. Not only did she rebound but she did so in an impressive fashion with a rear-naked choke victory against Sabina Mazo. She did recently call out Molly McCann, despite being booked with Young so we have to wonder whether she’ll be distracted in this one. All will be revealed on Saturday night.
Young picked up her first UFC victory in her last fight when she TKO’d Gina Mazany. Prior to this, she dropped her two first promotional bouts to Macy Chiasson and Stephanie Egger. If Young can keep the fight at range, her chances of victory increase massively. Last time out, she managed to fight long and keep Mazany at range which was evidently effective for her. Maverick will come in looking for the takedown and then look to work her ground game. With Young’s 60% takedown defence, it may not be that straightforward, leading to an intriguing match-up at flyweight.
Pudilova vs. Yanan
Lucie Pudilova makes her promotional return having been cut back in 2020 off the back of four straight losses. The Czech fighter has since gone 5-1 on the local scene, leading to her being re-signed to the UFC. Now training out of SBG Ireland, Pudilova will be looking to continue her good run of form and make sure this run in the UFC goes better than her last.
If Pudilova is to do that, she first has to get past five-fight UFC veteran, Wu Yanan. Yanan holds a promotional record of 1-4, with her only win coming in 2018 against Lauren Mueller. Since then, she’s lost three straight, all by decision. Yanan will be looking to snap this three-fight skid and could very reasonably be fighting to stay in the UFC. Few fighters endure a four-fight losing run and remain under contract… just ask Lucie Pudilova.