Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards Welterweight Title Fight Set for UFC 278 on August 20

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 04: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman interacts with fans during a Q&A session prior to the UFC 272 ceremonial weigh-in at UFC T-Mobile Arena on March 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The UFC announced on Saturday night that Kamaru Usman would defend his welterweight title on Aug. 20 in a rematch with Leon Edwards at UFC 278 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

UFC @ufc

This rematch comes with much higher stakes 🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/USMAN84kg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Usman84KG</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/Leon_edwardsmma?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Leon_EdwardsMMA</a><br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC278?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC278</a> | Aug 20 | <a href="https://twitter.com/vivintarena?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VivintArena</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/StateofSport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StateOfSport</a> 🔗 <a href="https://t.co/MZCFJcbyqL">https://t.co/MZCFJcbyqL</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/9JYMQUVM4F">pic.twitter.com/9JYMQUVM4F</a>

Usman won the first fight between the men all the way back at UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2 in 2015.

Usman, 35, won the welterweight title at UFC 235 in 2019, defeating Tyron Woodley. He's defended it five times, beating Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal twice apiece and Gilbert Burns in his impressive run.

He's now 20-1 in his professional MMA career and is considered the UFC's best pound-for-pound fighter in the entire promotion.

Edwards, 30, is 19-3-1 in his professional MMA career and hasn't lost in the UFC since his defeat against Usman. He's the No. 2 contender in the division behind only Covington, making him the next logical opponent for the champ.

He last fought at UFC 263 in June 2021, defeating Nate Diaz.

Since first fighting one another, both men have seemed to be on an eventual crash course, with neither losing since. A winning streak will end in the main event of UFC 278.

"He's improved loads, but so have I," Edwards told Harry Davies of the Mirror back in March. "When I fought him I was 22 years old. I'm now 30 years old. I've learned a lot over that space of time, but so has he. It'll be a totally different fight from what it was back then, so we have to look at it as a new fight."

The UFC will return to Salt Lake City for the first time since 2016, when it held a UFC Fight Night promotion. It will be the city's first UFC pay-per-view event.