Everything you need to know about UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2

Kamaru Usman is set to defend his UFC welterweight title against Leon Edwards at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman is firmly entrenched at the top of the mountain in MMA, not just in terms of welterweight supremacy but also as his accomplishments compare to those of the fighters in all weight classes.

Leon Edwards hopes to knock the 170-pound champion down a few pegs.

Usman (20-1) defends his belt against Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) in the main event of UFC 278 on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a rematch of a 2015 nontitle meeting that Usman won by unanimous decision.

Saturday's main card at Vivint Arena is on ESPN+ pay-per-view starting at 10 p.m. ET, with prelims on ABC, ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. and early prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m.

What are the other storylines behind the fights? How are experts breaking them down? What do the fighters have to say? Here is the fight card, how to watch it and a collection of all of the UFC 278 essentials.

UFC 278 fight card

ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET
Welterweight championship: Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Leon Edwards 2
Middleweight: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
Men's bantamweight: Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Women's bantamweight: Wu Yanan vs. Lucie Pudilová
Light heavyweight: Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker
Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov
Lightweight: Leonardo Santos vs. Jared Gordon
Men's featherweight: Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldaña
Welterweight: AJ Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa
ESPN/ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET
Men's flyweight: Francisco Figueiredo vs. Amir Albazi
Men's bantamweight: Aoriqileng vs. Jay Perrin
ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET
Men's flyweight: Daniel Da Silva vs. Victor Altamirano
(c) = defending champion

How to watch the fights

Watch the PPV and all other fights on ESPN+: Get ESPN+ here.

Watch the prelims on ABC, ESPN and ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN and ESPN+. Download the ESPN App | WatchESPN | TV schedule

Don't have ESPN? Get instant access.

Purchased the fight on your phone and want to stream on your TV? Find out how here.

There's also FightCenter, which offers live updates for every UFC card.

Or you can watch the fights with Gronk

Starting with UFC 278, there is an alternate way for fans to watch the fights. Just as the ManningCast offers pro football fans the opportunity to enjoy Monday Night Football with the commentary of Peyton and Eli Manning, MMA fans can take in a fight night with former All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski and his guests.

The fun starts Saturday at 9 p.m. ET with the UFC 278 prelims and continues with the pay-per-view fights.

Welcome to the GronkCast.

Kamaru Usman-Leon Edwards is a rematch, but this won't be the same fight

In the first fight between these two -- which was only Usman's second appearance in the Octagon -- Edwards' takedown defense was the biggest factor. While he wasn't able to stop all 13 of Usman's takedown attempts, he did stuff seven of them. But he got taken to the canvas six times, and that affected how he fought.

Edwards looked comfortable fighting on the feet and setting the pace in the first round, but because his takedown defense wasn't as refined back then, Edwards wasn't able to open up his striking as much as the fight went on because he had to worry about leaving himself open for Usman's takedown attempts.

Former UFC fighter and current ESPN MMA analyst Megan Anderson breaks down the title fight.

Read the story.

Ranking the fights at UFC 278: Kamaru Usman-Leon Edwards a must see, plus the return of a legend

For sports fans, there's nothing more exhilarating than watching the best of the best perform. Whether it's LeBron James or Lionel Messi, Serena Williams or Tom Brady, the greats of every sport elevate the viewing experience.

So, MMA fans, welcome to UFC 278, a showcase for the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world.

Kamaru Usman (20-1), who headlines Saturday's fight card in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a title defense against Leon Edwards, has won 19 fights in a row, a run of success that extends all the way back to 2013 and his third professional fight. Usman has won 14 times in the UFC, including five defenses of the welterweight championship he took from Tyron Woodley in 2019.

The Usman-Edwards rematch is Saturday's only title fight, but UFC 278 lso features a couple of former champions, an undefeated fighter and others of interest. Here's one observer's ranking of the evening's top five attractions.

Read the story.

Bantamweight breakdown: What Vera, Cruz, Aldo, O'Malley and others need in order to get a UFC title shot

The UFC men's bantamweight division will assume center stage over the coming months, as eight of the top 10 contenders have fights booked, including champion Aljamain Sterling.

At UFC 278 this coming weekend, former featherweight champ Jose Aldo (31-7) will face Merab Dvalishvili (14-4) at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City. Then, on Sept. 17, Cory Sandhagen (14-4) and Song Yadong (19-6-1) will headline a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. That fight likely wouldn't produce an immediate title challenger, but it features the Nos. 4 and 10 in the UFC bantamweight rankings.

And then, the biggest night in the division comes on Oct. 22, when Sterling (21-3) faces TJ Dillashaw (17-4) and Petr Yan (16-3) meets Sean O'Malley (15-1) on the same night at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Bottom line, this division will look completely different by the end of the year.

Here's a look at what each contender needs to do -- and the help needed -- to get the next title shot at 135 pounds.

Read the story.