Usman, Edwards make weight for UFC 278 fight

MMA news

SALT LAKE CITY — The best pound-for-pound fighter in the world will be back in the Octagon this weekend.

Kamaru Usman and challenger Leon Edwards successfully made weight Friday morning — both at exactly 170 pounds — for their welterweight title fight in the main event of UFC 278 on Saturday at Vivint Arena.

Usman is No. 1 in ESPN’s pound-for-pound MMA rankings. At welterweight, Usman is ranked No. 1 by ESPN and Edwards is No. 4. The two men have fought before, with Usman winning by unanimous decision in December 2015.

The 35-year-old Usman (20-1) is one victory away from tying Anderson Silva’s UFC record win streak (16). The Nigerian-born fighter, who trains out of Colorado, has been UFC welterweight champ since his win over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019. He has five successful welterweight title defenses.

Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is unbeaten in 10 straight contests over nearly seven years, dating to his loss to Usman. The Jamaican-born resident of Birmingham, England, has not fought since a unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz at UFC 263 in May 2021. Edwards, 30, has an 11-2 (1 NC) record in the UFC.

Both co-main event fighters — former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa — also made weight Friday morning. Costa weighed in at 185.5 and then complained about USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, coming to his room at 7 a.m. Friday morning to drug test him. Rockhold weighed in at 185.

Costa (13-2), a 31-year-old former middleweight title contender from Brazil, is trying to snap a two-fight losing streak. Rockhold (16-5), a 37-year-old from California, has not fought since July 2019.

Shanna Young was removed from her scheduled fight at UFC 278 against Miranda Maverick because of a medical issue, the UFC announced Friday morning. That bout was canceled.

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