UFC 278 Results: Leon Edwards' Shocking Upset, Merab Dvalishvili Win Highlight Card
UFC 278 will forever be known as the event 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 ground and gave Rocky the championship.
The upstart challenger put Usman on notice in the first round when he became the first fighter to take down the now-former champion. However, Usman started 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 in need of a knockout, and that's exactly what he got. With Usman stalking, he threw out a punch that drew a reaction and led Usman right into the well-timed head kick.
Now, the question will be whether Edwards can do it again in the inevitable third match after Usman beat Edwards in 2015. The series is now tied at one apiece.
UFC 278 Results
- 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. José Aldo via 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 ends in 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)
Paulo Costa def. Luke Rockhold
The middleweight co-main event between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold was a wild and wonderful fight that had all the trappings of a heavyweight slugfest.
Costa earned the unanimous decision, but it wasn't without plenty of pushback from Rockhold. His 37-year-old opponent acquitted himself nicely with a lively underdog performance against the Brazilian.
At times the former champion looked completely gassed, but just when it looked like he was finished, he would come forward with a barrage of punches and kicks that would hurt Costa and bring the fight back to life.
It wasn't ultimately enough to get his hand raised. Rockhold would later tell Joe Rogan that he was retiring from fighting in the post-fight interview.
For Costa, this is a chance to get back into the mix at middleweight, although it's fair to wonder about his cardio going forward after struggling to put Rockhold away in this one.
Merab Dvalishvili def. José Aldo
It wasn't necessarily pretty, but Merab Dvalishvili did what he needed to score a unanimous decision victory over José Aldo.
Dvalishvili has worked his way up the rankings thanks to a relentless wrestling game that has helped him maul opponents. That wasn't the case against the King of Rio. Aldo stuffed all 16 takedown attempts from Dvalisvhili, taking away the strategy that has worked for him time and time again.
Unfortunately for Aldo, simply negating his opponent wasn't enough to get the nod.
The Georgian might 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 will get tricky for Dvalishvili. His training partner Aljamain Sterling holds the belt, so he's going to have to navigate potentially missing out on a title shot if he's unwilling to fight his friend.
Lucie Pudilova def. Wu Yanan
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 that fighter in her return to the organization. After going 5-1 outside of the UFC to earn another shot with the company, she showed her massive improvement in a lopsided TKO victory over Wu Yanan.
Pudilova was able to take down Yanan at will. Once there, she showcased a killer instinct and continually looked for finishes.
Late in the second round, she began raining down elbows before the ref mercifully called an end to the fight.
It's safe to say she'll continue to fight in the UFC if she can continue this trend.
Tyson Pedro def. Harry Hunsucker
Tyson Pedro was one of the biggest favorites on the card, and it didn't take long for him to show why.
The fighter barely broke a sweat as he put away Harry Hunsucker in just over a minute in the first round. Pedro landed a flush jab that staggered Hunsucker before finishing him off with a nasty front kick to the body.
The Australian joined a unique group with the finish. According to UFC analyst Michael Carroll, Rich Franklin, Jan Blachowicz, and Marcin Prachnio are the only other light heavyweights to finish a fight with a body kick.
It was a good example of 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.