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Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
UFC 278 will forever be referred to as the function where Leon Edwards stunned Kamaru Usman to take the welterweight title.
Edwards earned the title with a shocking left head kick that put the Nigerian Nightmare on the floor and gave Rocky the championship.
The upstart challenger put Usman on notice in the initial round when he became the first fighter to remove the now-former champion. However, Usman began to settle in, taking Edwards down at will and mostly dominating the fight.
Edwards didn’t quit, though. He entered the fifth and final round looking for a knockout, and that is just what he got. With Usman stalking, he threw out a punch that drew a reaction and led Usman directly into the well-timed head kick.
Now, the question will undoubtedly be whether Edwards can perform it again in the inevitable third match after Usman beat Edwards in 2015. The series is currently tied at one apiece.
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Merab Dvalishvili found a big make an impression on Jose Aldo (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
- Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman via fifth-round KO (head kick)
- Paulo Costa def. Luke Rockhold via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Jos Aldovia unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Lucie Pudilova def. Wu Yanan via second-round TKO (elbows)
- Tyson Pedro def. Harry Hunsucker via first-round TKO (punches)
- Marcin Tybura def. Alexandr Romanov via majority decision (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
- Jared Gordon def. Leonardo Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldana leads to a split draw (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
- Ange Loosa def. AJ Fletcher via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Amir Albazi def. Francisco Figueiredo via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
- Aoriqileng def. Jay Perrin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Victor Altamirano def. Daniel Da Silva via first-round TKO (punches)
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Luke Rockhold kicks Paulo Costa (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
The middleweight co-main event between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold was a wild and wonderful fight that had all of the trappings of a heavyweight slugfest.
Costa earned the unanimous decision, nonetheless it wasn’t without a lot of pushback from Rockhold. His 37-year-old opponent acquitted himself nicely with a lively underdog performance contrary to the Brazilian.
Sometimes the former champion looked completely gassed, but just when it appeared as if he was finished, he’d come forward with a barrage of punches and kicks that could hurt Costa and bring the fight alive.
It wasn’t ultimately enough to obtain his hand raised. Rockhold would later tell Joe Rogan he was retiring from fighting in the post-fight interview.
For Costa, it is a chance to return back to the mix at middleweight, although it’s fair to wonder about his cardio in the years ahead after struggling to place Rockhold away in that one.
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Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but Merab Dvalishvili did what he had a need to score a unanimous decision victory over Jos Aldo.
Dvalishvili spent some time working his way up the rankings because of a relentless wrestling game which has helped him maul opponents. That wasn’t the case contrary to the King of Rio. Aldo stuffed all 16 takedown attempts from Dvalisvhili, removing the strategy which has worked for him again and again.
Unfortunately for Aldo, simply negating his opponent wasn’t enough to obtain the nod.
The Georgian might possibly not have scored a takedown, but he still kept up a blistering pace and landed enough volume that the judges rewarded him with the win.
Now, things are certain to get tricky for Dvalishvili. His training partner Aljamain Sterling holds the belt, so he’ll need to navigate potentially passing up on a title shot if he’s unwilling to fight his friend.
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Lucie Pudilova (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Lucie Pudilova’s first run in the UFC didn’t go so well. The Czech fighter went just 2-5 from 2017-20 before getting cut.
She didn’t look anything like this fighter in her go back to the business. After going 5-1 outside the UFC to earn another shot with the business, she showed her massive improvement in a lopsided TKO victory over Wu Yanan.
Pudilova could remove Yanan at will. Once there, she showcased a killer instinct and continually looked for finishes.
Late in the next round, she began raining down elbows prior to the ref mercifully named an end to the fight.
It’s safe to state she’ll continue steadily to fight in the UFC if she can keep on with this trend.
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Tyson Pedro (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Tyson Pedro was one of the primary favorites on the card, also it didn’t take miss him showing why.
The fighter barely broke a sweat as he set aside Harry Hunsucker in only over one minute in the initial round. Pedro landed a flush jab that staggered Hunsucker before finishing him off with an awful front kick to your body.
The Australian joined a distinctive group with the final. In accordance with UFC analyst Michael Carroll, Rich Franklin, Jan Blachowicz, and Marcin Prachnio will be the only other light heavyweights to complete a fight with a body kick.
It had been among Pedro’s prowess as a striker. He now has back-to-back knockouts involving his kicks. He last finished Ike Villanueva with leg kicks and punches.