UFC 278 main card: Kamaru Usman defends against Leon Edwards in headliner, Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold set as co-main

UFC 278 Press Conference
Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards | Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman goes for title defense No. 6 at UFC 278.

The main card for the UFC’s Aug. 20 pay-per-view has been announced with Usman defending his welterweight championship against Leon Edwards in the headliner. The bout is a rematch of a December 2015 bout that Usman won by unanimous decision.

Usman is currently the No. 1 welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings and the No. 2 fighter in the Pound-for-Pound Rankings. He is coming off of a unanimous decision win over rival Colby Covington at UFC 268 this past November, a victory that extended his undefeated streak to 19 straight fights.

Edwards has not lost since dropping that decision to Usman, going 10 straight appearances without a loss. He holds recent wins over Nate Diaz, Rafael dos Anjos, and Gunnar Nelson.

In the UFC 278 co-main event, one-time middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa welcomes former UFC champion Luke Rockhold back to the octagon. Costa looks to snap a two-fight skid, while Rockhold makes his first appearance since July 2019.

Also on the main card, No. 5 Jose Aldo takes on No. 6 Merab Dvalishvili in a bout that could determine the next challenger for the UFC bantamweight title.

UFC 278 takes place Aug. 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

See the full card below.

Main Card (ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET)

Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards

Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold

Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov

Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker

Preliminary Card (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m. ET)

Leonardo Santos vs. Jared Gordon

Wu Yanan vs. Lucie Pudilova

Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldana

Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young

Early Prelims (ESPN, ESPN+ at 6:00 p.m. ET)

A.J. Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa

Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo

Aoriqileng vs. Jay Perrin

Daniel Da Silva vs. Victor Altamirano

UFC 278 main card: Kamaru Usman defends against Leon Edwards in headliner, Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold set as co-main

UFC 278 Press Conference
Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards | Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman goes for title defense No. 6 at UFC 278.

The main card for the UFC’s Aug. 20 pay-per-view has been announced with Usman defending his welterweight championship against Leon Edwards in the headliner. The bout is a rematch of a December 2015 bout that Usman won by unanimous decision.

Usman is currently the No. 1 welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings and the No. 2 fighter in the Pound-for-Pound Rankings. He is coming off of a unanimous decision win over rival Colby Covington at UFC 268 this past November, a victory that extended his undefeated streak to 19 straight fights.

Edwards has not lost since dropping that decision to Usman, going 10 straight appearances without a loss. He holds recent wins over Nate Diaz, Rafael dos Anjos, and Gunnar Nelson.

In the UFC 278 co-main event, one-time middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa welcomes former UFC champion Luke Rockhold back to the octagon. Costa looks to snap a two-fight skid, while Rockhold makes his first appearance since July 2019.

Also on the main card, No. 5 Jose Aldo takes on No. 6 Merab Dvalishvili in a bout that could determine the next challenger for the UFC bantamweight title.

UFC 278 takes place Aug. 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

See the full card below.

Main Card (ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET)

Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards

Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold

Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov

Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker

Preliminary Card (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m. ET)

Leonardo Santos vs. Jared Gordon

Wu Yanan vs. Lucie Pudilova

Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldana

Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young

Early Prelims (ESPN, ESPN+ at 6:00 p.m. ET)

A.J. Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa

Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo

Aoriqileng vs. Jay Perrin

Daniel Da Silva vs. Victor Altamirano

Police officer accused in shooting death of BJJ legend Leandro Lo turns himself in

BRAZIL-JIU-JITSU-CRIME
Photo by ILAN PELLENBERG/AFP via Getty Images

Police officer Henrique Otávio Oliveira Velozo, accused of murdering eight-time jiu-jitsu world champion Leandro Lo during a concert over the weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has turned himself.

MMA Fighting confirmed the news Monday following an initial report by G1.

Velozo is accused of shooting Lo in the head over an argument about a bottle of alcohol at Clube Sirio. Witnesses said Lo pinned the police officer, who happens to be a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, to control the situation after Velozo took the bottle from Lo’s table. They were separated and Velozo was allowed back to his feet, but then walked a few steps back and shot Lo in the forehead. Lo was declared dead hours later.

UOL reported Monday that this wasn’t Velozo’s first run-in with the law. The policeman was found guilty of assaulting a fellow officer in a night club in 2017. He was convicted, but received no jail time.

Dead at 33, Lo captured a long list of notable championships as a jiu-jitsu player, including eight gold medals in the IBJJF Worlds. He defeated the likes of Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, Gilbert Burns, Felipe Pena, and more.

Police officer accused in shooting death of BJJ legend Leandro Lo turns himself in

BRAZIL-JIU-JITSU-CRIME
Photo by ILAN PELLENBERG/AFP via Getty Images

Police officer Henrique Otávio Oliveira Velozo, accused of murdering eight-time jiu-jitsu world champion Leandro Lo during a concert over the weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has turned himself.

MMA Fighting confirmed the news Monday following an initial report by G1.

Velozo is accused of shooting Lo in the head over an argument about a bottle of alcohol at Clube Sirio. Witnesses said Lo pinned the police officer, who happens to be a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, to control the situation after Velozo took the bottle from Lo’s table. They were separated and Velozo was allowed back to his feet, but then walked a few steps back and shot Lo in the forehead. Lo was declared dead hours later.

UOL reported Monday that this wasn’t Velozo’s first run-in with the law. The policeman was found guilty of assaulting a fellow officer in a night club in 2017. He was convicted, but received no jail time.

Dead at 33, Lo captured a long list of notable championships as a jiu-jitsu player, including eight gold medals in the IBJJF Worlds. He defeated the likes of Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, Gilbert Burns, Felipe Pena, and more.

Marlon Vera: ‘Fat’ Petr Yan was too busy eating pizza to fight me

UFC Fight Night: Font v Vera
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The way Chito Vera remembers it, the UFC called him to fight in Boston on Aug. 13 against ex-bantamweight champion Petr Yan.

Hearing that name, Vera said he immediately agreed. But then there were some unpleasant complications.

“Petr Yan, that fat c***, declined the fight because he was eating pizza in Italy, and he said, ‘Oh, I don’t have time to make the weight or I don’t have time to prepare,’” Yan said Monday on The MMA Hour. “If I’m that easy money, why don’t you just say, ‘F*** it, I finish my slice and kick your ass.’ But he declined the fight — he said he wants to fight in November, October, so I was like, ‘You ain’t that cool to [wait] for you, buddy.’ So I was like, I want action. I want to fight. I want to make money. Let’s go. They went, ‘Well, he declined, you want to fight Dominick Cruz?’ I was like, sure, why not?

“Why am I going to lie? There’s no lies. When you speak the truth, you don’t need to remember anything. So yeah, that’s what happened. That’s not s*** talking. He just didn’t have the time. He was doing a little trip in Europe. Good for him, dude. Good for him.”

Vera is now scheduled to face ex-champ Cruz on Saturday at UFC San Diego, while Yan is scheduled to meet Sean O’Malley at UFC 280 in his first fight since a failed bid to retake the title from champ Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273. Cruz is not a matchup Vera is mad at, though he concedes the UFC commentator and fighter may be a slightly less attractive option.

“Just as equal,” Vera said about the comparison between Cruz and Yan. “There’s no better, no less. Dominick’s a little older, let’s keep it real. He probably won’t keep up the way Yan will.

“But it’s still a fist fight, dude. You can break your pinky and you’re f*****. A cut can change a fight. So I’m not thinking this is going to be any easier. I’m f****** waking up every day thinking this is going to be the hardest, bloodiest fight of my life, but I think that about every single guy.”

Before they were booked to meet in San Diego, Vera repeatedly targeted Cruz for the same reason as Yan, criticizing him for not accepting his callout. In return, Cruz pointed out his ranking and stressed his personal matchmaking decisions were centered on higher-ranked opponents and favorable dates for his preperation.

With a three-fight winning streak that included a highlight-reel knockout of ex-champ Frankie Edgar and decision over top contender Rob Font, Vera gained the bargaining chip he’d long sought against Cruz, pulling ahead of the ex-champ by three places in the UFC’s top 15. In the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, the gap is even bigger at four spots: Vera is No. 7 while Cruz is No. 11.

Either way, Vera is finally getting the matchups he wants in order to capture titles. If he defeats Cruz on Saturday, it may not be long before he’s facing the winner of the upcoming fight between O’Malley vs. Yan fight at UFC 280.