Sanabul Fight News: UFC 278
With the rematch and welterweight title on the line, as well as the extremely interesting matchup between Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa, there was lots to look forward to at UFC 278.
Victor Altamorino, Qileng Aori, and Amir Albazi all had extremely impressive wins during the early prelims of UFC 278, solidifying their names as threats in their respective divisions. Amir and Victor both came out with finishes over some game opponents, and Aori ended up with the decision victory over three hard fought rounds. Ange Loosa followed up these matchups with an incredible performance of his own to dominate fellow welterweight AJ Fletcher to a decision victory to open up the prelims.
Jared “Flash” Gordon dominated 42 year old Leonardo Santos to a decision victory after beating him everywhere in the octagon. Santos, the Jiu Jitsu legend, only shot two takedowns during the whole fight, to no avail. Jared showed some awesome takedown defense and striking skills to dominate the fight. The rising prospect in the heavyweight division Alex Romanov and Marcin Tybura had an absolute slugfest to finish off the prelims, with each man potentially winning one of the first two rounds, Tybura ended up winning the decision on the judges scorecards, and taking the 0 off of Romanov’s record with his first professional loss.
Tyson Pedro opened up the main card with an absolutely incredible win over Harry Hunsucker as a -700 favorite. Tyson has been known as a huge threat on the ground, but ended up dropping Harry with a front kick to the body and some ground and pound tok prove that he is a huge problem anywhere and everywhere in the octagon. Lucie Pudilova ended up proving her spot in the WBantamweight division against contender Yanan Wu, and got the finish in the second round with some nasty ground and pound elbows to get the referee stoppage.
Merab Dvalishvili and Jose Aldo were up next, with the pair involved in an extremely high-stakes bout for the bantamweight division. Aldo was looking very solid in his muay thai stance to begin the fight, but throughout the fight it proved Merab was just too much for him to handle everywhere. During the second round it was clear that Aldo was gassed and Merab still had lots left to offer him on the feet, and holding him against the cage. Dana White said “Merab didn’t do himself any favors tonight” during the post-fight press conference, but he came out with the decision win and moves up in the rankings nonetheless.
Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold had one of the weirdest and most entertaining fights I have seen in a long time, with Rockhold being more gassed than any fighter in UFC history, and still throwing incredibly creative strikes every 20 seconds, the pair were locked in for a 15-minute war. Costa definitely won the fight, but Luke Rockhold displayed his heart and did not stop trying for 15-minutes, despite his age, cardio, and the altitude as well. The fight ended with Luke on top of Costa, bleeding out of his mouth, and purposefully rubbing it all into the face and mouth of Paulo.
The main event was something to behold, with the rematch of Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, and the welterweight belt on the line, it was the moment everyone has been waiting for. Leon Edwards was on a 10-fight win streak since that fight, and was determined to redeem himself and bring the belt back to England and his fans once and for all. Kamaru Usman won the second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds decisively after having his back taken in the first round and being dominated on the ground to the surprise of… everyone! In the last minute of the fight, when everyone was starting to clean up their snacks and empty drinks, Leon Edwards feinted a left hand and followed up with one of the cleanest head kicks in UFC history, knocking out Kamaru Usman COLD for the first time in Usman’s career. Making history as the first man to ever beat and/or KO Kamaru Usman in the UFC.