VegasInsider: UFC 278 Preview – Madsen: ‘Usman is too tough to prepare for’

UFC 278 takes place at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah this Saturday, headlined by a rematch that is seven years in the making. 

Undefeated UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his title against Leon Edwards in a rematch from their first bout in 2015, where Usman defeated Edwards by unanimous decision. 

Since their initial fight, Usman has become one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best fighters, capturing the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley in 2019 and defending it five consecutive times. 

However, Edwards has also been on an undefeated run himself, unbeaten in his last ten fights, with his most recent victory coming against Nate Diaz last year. 

VegasInsider’s Joe Osborne is joined by UFC lightweight Mark Madsen to break down the welterweight title fight and who has the best value for money. 

“I believe Usman is going to get the job done,” declares Madsen. 

“He is coming off a hand injury, one thing about MMA is that it isn’t static it’s all about how prepared you are. He is fighting a skilled striker, probably one of the best strikers in the division in Edwards, and we know he’s been working on his takedowns. 

“But I think Usman is too tough to prepare for. Edwards is not going to find a guy with the skills Usman possesses anywhere in the world, so I’m going with Usman.”

Usman opens as a large -385 favourite to retain his title Saturday, opposed to the +275 chance for Edwards. Host Osborne opts with Usman to win as well, even going so far as to back the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ to win by KO/TKO at +260. 

The co-main event is contested by former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and challenger Paolo Costa. Costa opens up as a comfortable -350 favourite and Madsen believes Rockhold is in serious risk of ‘another broken jaw here’. 

He explains: “This could be a career-ending fight here for Luke Rockhold. I’m going with Costa on this one, I think he’s going to demolish him.”