SALT LAKE CITY — Kamaru Usman is already being requested about Khamzat Chimaev as a future contender. He has bandied in regards to the concept of shifting up two divisions to mild heavyweight and difficult for that title. UFC president Dana White needs to place Usman within the best of all time dialog.
But earlier than all of those probably historic issues can come to fruition, Usman has work to do. On Saturday, MMA’s pound-for-pound king will defend his UFC welterweight title in opposition to Leon Edwards in the primary occasion of UFC 278 at Vivint Arena.
ESPN has Usman ranked No. 1 on the earth at welterweight. Edwards is No. 4. The two have met earlier than — and it was the final time Edwards has misplaced: December 2015, by way of unanimous determination.
Usman (20-1) is on a 15-fight UFC successful streak, one victory in need of tying Anderson Silva’s document of 16. The Nigerian-born fighter, who trains out of Colorado, has been UFC welterweight champion since beating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019. Usman, 35, has 5 profitable welterweight title defenses.
Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is unbeaten in 10 straight fights over practically seven years. The Jamaica-born resident of England has not fought since a unanimous determination win over Nate Diaz at UFC 263 in May 2021. Edwards, 30, has an 11-2, 1 NC document within the UFC.
In the co-main occasion, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold meets former title challenger Paulo Costa. Rockhold (16-5), a 37-year-old California native, has not fought since 2019 and has only one win since beating Chris Weidman for the title in 2015. Costa (13-2), a 31-year-old Brazilian slugger, has dropped two straight, together with a second-round TKO loss to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 in September 2020.
Also on the cardboard, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will tackle the surging Merab Dvalishvili at bantamweight, Marcin Tybura meets Alexander Romanov in a heavyweight contender bout and in style Aussie mild heavyweight Tyson Pedro faces Harry Hunsucker.
Follow alongside as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the motion because it occurs or watch the fights on ESPN+ PPV.
Up subsequent: Men’s bantamweight: Aoriqileng (19-9, 1-2 UFC, -140) vs. Jay Perrin (10-5, 0-1 UFC, +120)
Results: Men’s flyweight: Victor Altamirano (11-2, 1-1 UFC) def. Daniel Da Silva (11-4, 0-3 UFC) by first-round TKO
Two fighters chasing their first UFC victory wasted no time in getting after it. Both got here out swinging, and Da Silva landed the primary impactful blow, a proper hand that dropped Altamirano and had him in hassle within the opening minute. But Altamirano received up and saved coming ahead, and after a knee to the physique put Da Silva on the canvas, the Mexican swarmed with a barrage of elbows that completed the job at 3:39 of the primary spherical.
Altamirano, a 31-year-old from Mexico City who trains in Fort Worth, Texas, needed to stand up to the early assault, however as soon as he had the struggle going his approach, he was relentless in successful for the fifth time in his final six bouts. He misplaced his UFC debut in February.
Da Silva, who’s 26 and from Brazil, seemed just like the sharper fighter in the beginning, flattening his opponent and practically connecting with spinning assaults. But as soon as he was on his again, he made the error of making an attempt for submissions slightly than defending in opposition to the elbows that opened up a minimize on his face and ended the struggle. He has misplaced all three of his UFC bouts.
Still to come back:
Welterweight championship: Kamaru Usman (c) (20-1, 15-0 UFC, -400) vs. Leon Edwards (19-3 1 NC, 11-2 1 NC UFC, +310)
Middleweight: Paulo Costa (13-2, 5-2 UFC, -370) vs. Luke Rockhold (16-5, 6-4 UFC, +290)
Men’s bantamweight: Jose Aldo (31-7, 13-6 UFC, +120) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (14-4, 7-2 UFC, -140)
Women’s bantamweight: Wu Yanan (12-5, 1-4 UFC, +100) vs. Lucie Pudilová (13-7, 2-5 UFC, -120)
Light heavyweight: Tyson Pedro (83-, 4-3 UFC, -800) vs. Harry Hunsucker (7-5, 0-2 UFC, +550)
Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura (22-7, 9-6 UFC, +300) vs. Alexandr Romanov (16-0, 5-0 UFC, -380)
Lightweight: Leonardo Santos (18-6-1, 7-2-1 UFC, +240) vs. Jared Gordon (18-5, 6-4 UFC, -300)
Men’s featherweight: Sean Woodson (9-1, 3-1 UFC, -340) vs. Luis Saldaña (16-7, 2-1 UFC, +270)
Welterweight: AJ Fletcher (9-1, 0-1 UFC, -160) vs. Ange Loosa (8-3, 0-1 UFC, +135)
Men’s flyweight: Francisco Figueiredo (13-4-1, 2-1 UFC, +360) vs. Amir Albazi (14-1, 2-0 UFC, -470)
(c) = defending champion