As Australian Tyson Pedro looks to continue his comeback from injury, Leon Edwards has a chance to exact revenge on the pound-for-pound king.
Plus — Two fierce rivals meet for a grudge or breakup.
All that and more on a stacked UFC 278 card! Follow all the latest updates below!
UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 is live on Kayo and Foxtel, Sunday 21 August at 12pm AEST. Order now >
The USman looks ‘humble’ to Edwards in the title fight
The main event sees Kariru Usman attempt to cement his title legacy by once again taking care of top contender Leon Edwards.
The two last fought in 2011. In 2015 though, Edwards has been on an undefeated streak since then with wins over Nate Diaz, Rafael dos Anjos and Vincente Luque.
“I can see right through it,” said Edwards, who is undefeated since 2015.
Usman himself, despite being undefeated in the UFC, will stake his claim Sunday as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Australian Alexander Volkanovski is Usman’s biggest threat to that crown and the featherweight champion has some timely advice ahead of the upcoming fight.
Full UFC 278 Guide: ‘Ultimate’ Rematch; Australian star to complete a historic comeback
“Usman is very good,” Volkanovski said The main preparation.
“He’s shown he can hang with the best of them. However, I think Usman can only do it because he is so well rounded. If he really thought he was going to get out there and really wanted to prove his amazing abilities and stuff, he could hurt himself that way.
“I think he’s got to show all his skill sets and why he’s on the pound-for-pound list. You don’t just have to be a good striker; You want to be good at it, and that’s for sure.”
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s fight, Usman said Edwards was getting ahead of himself and would get a reality check from the champion.
“He’s himself and he’s done great things, but I feel like he’s losing himself a little bit,” he said. BBC.
“It’s not personal to me, I believe I’m number one. [fame] It’s clearly coming to his head. I am going to humiliate you.”
Edwards had a lot to say though, saying he’s “growing and growing” and teaching the champion a lesson.
“Another black man doing good, I know we fight but I’m not my enemy,” he said.
But he wears the ‘how to be arrogant’ style in every press conference. I’ve seen it time and time before. His fame has reached him.
Everything online for strong rivals
There’s no love lost between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold before it turns out to be a career-defining fight for both.
Costa won in 13 seasons before losing back to back to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori.
As for Rockhold, who hasn’t fought in the UFC for three years, the former middleweight champion is looking to come back and re-establish himself as a contender.
Rockhold is coming off a two-fight skid and another loss could end here as the veteran hangs up his gloves.
The pair clashed earlier in the week, with Costa promising to “retire” Rockhold, who had a few choice words of his own for his rival.
“I’m in my prime, I’m going to do this old man,” Costa said earlier in the week.
He is visibly uncomfortable as he knows he is facing a monster. And he already knows, look at it – it’s uncomfortable. … I will retire it.
Rockhold, who has eight wins to his name, may have the home field advantage, though getting there will be a challenge in itself for Paulo.
The former champion did not buy Costa, although he felt confident at the beginning of the week.
“If Paulo gets to the floor, I’m going to father**** him,” Rockhold said.
“It will end.”
“Oh man, come on,” Costa replied with a laugh.
“This man is too old to be talking bulls like that. Come on man. Ugh.”
Rockhold took aim at Paulo, saying he constantly tried to delay the fight.
“This mom didn’t want to take this fight in the first place,” Rockhold said.
“UFC forced it down his throat, and it’s late twice. Months later all the makeup bulls*** are done? You little b**** shut up”
It’s safe to say that Costa and Rockhold will be looking for a finish on Sunday.
UFC legend Aldo is set to get his title shot.
In another interesting bout on the main card, former UFC featherweight champion and current No. 3 bantamweight contender Jose Aldo will be looking to get himself back into the title frame.
He will face No. 6 Merab Divalishvili, who is building his own strength, but has never gone up against a fighter of Aldo’s standing.
Aldo told reporters that he should have earned a title shot earlier, but he will use the fight against Divalishvili as another opportunity to really push his claim.
“I think I should have fought for the title,” Aldo said.
“I wanted to fight Aljo (Aljamaine Sterling), but he’s going to Dillashaw. If I win this fight, I believe I will be the one fighting for the belt.
Although none of the opponents are on the level of the legendary Aldo, Divalishvili will not be an easy hit on his seven-fight winning streak.
AUSSIE PEDRO wants to continue his incredible comeback
Earlier, Australian Tyson Pedro will look to continue his comeback from injury when he faces Harry Hansucker.
Pedro, returning from the longest injury layoff in UFC history, scored a first-round knockout victory against Ike Villanueva in April.
“The win wasn’t as important as getting back into the Octagon at that point,” Pedro said earlier in the week.
“It was about proving to all the people who doubted me and proving to myself that I should be in there. What followed was a flood of emotions – too much for one moment. I do not recommend it. But it was fun to come back. i like this.
“Of course I’m more excited for this fight because all I’ve thought about for those four years has been the crowd. That was the only thing that didn’t go as planned. This one, I’m really excited to be here.
Now Pedro will be looking to keep the momentum going as he faces Hunsucker, who is looking to leave the division and make his mark on the lightweight division.
Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards (welterweight title fight)
Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold (Middleweight)
Jose Aldo vs Merab Divalishvili (Bantamweight)
Wu Yanan vs Lucy Pudilova (Bantamweight)
Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker (Light Heavyweight)
Marcin Tibura vs. Alexander Romanov (Heavyweight)
Leonardo Santos vs Jared Gordon (Lightweight)
Shawn Woodson vs Luis Saldana (Featherweight)
Miranda Maverick vs Shana Young (Flyweight)
AJ Fletcher vs Ange Llosa (Welterweight)
Amir Albazi vs Francisco Figueiredo (Fellowweight)
Eric Lang vs Jay Perrin (Bantamweight)
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