UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) 278 has concluded and it included some amazing fights, including one of the greatest comebacks and shock endings the sport has ever seen. I will cover some of the notable fights and best performances of the night.
The first fight of the night, kicking off the early prelims, was Flyweights (125 lbs), Daniel Da Silva vs Victor Altamirano, and it kicked off the night strong with Altamirano fighting back from a knockdown early. Beating Da Silva via first-round ground and pound TKO (Technical Knockout) in a performance of the night by Altamirano.
The second fight with Bantamweights (135 lbs), Aoriqileng vs Jay Perrin was an exciting one from start to finish. Aoriqileng would dominate the majority of the fight on the feet leading him to a unanimous decision win although Perrin would come on strong in the third round.
The final fight of the early prelims included a dominant performance by Flyweight Amir Albazi who was able to submit Francisco Figuerido by submission late in the first round.
The first fight of the prelims included Welterweights (170 lbs), AJ Fletcher vs Ange Loosa, and they went to war as Loosa would win the first round soundly but Fletcher came back in the second nearly finishing Loosa late. But it would prove Fletcher had emptied his tank and was held down the whole third round giving Loosa the win by unanimous decision.
Fight two was a Featherweight (145 lbs) bout between Sean Woodson vs Luis Saldana. This fight was another closely contested bout with both fighters hurting each other multiple times, but after Saldana had hurt Woodson in the first round he would throw an illegal knee which would end up costing him the win as the fight ended in a draw.
The penultimate fight of the prelims consisted of Lightweights Leonardo Santos vs Jared Gordon, with Gordon dominating and winning by unanimous decision.
The final fight of the prelims was a Heavyweight (206-265 lbs) match-up with the undefeated Alexander Romanov vs Marcin Tybura. Tybura surprisingly took control of the fight and snapped the undefeated Romanov’s record winning by Unanimous decision.
The main card started off with Light Heavyweights (205 lbs) Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker, and Pedro would prove why he came into the fight a massive -730 favorite, starching Hansucker in just over a minute and picking up the win by TKO.
Fight two a Women’s Bantamweight match between Wu Yanan vs Lucie Pudilova, ended in Pudilova beating Wu soundly by TKO once again.
Fight three included an extremely important fight for the Bantamweight title picture with legend Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili. Although it wasn’t the most exciting match of the night Merab would dominate the fight with his grappling against the cage and render Jose Aldo to be more on the defensive leading to a unanimous decision victory, in what may be Jose Aldo’s last time in the UFC octagon.
The Co-Main event consisted of Middleweights (185 lbs), Paulo Costa who would be trying to get back in the title picture with a win, and Luke Rockhold making his return to the UFC octagon for the first time in over three years. This was an absolute war with both fighters being pushed to the brink, especially Rockhold who looked like he was fighting on his pure will to win only at some points it seemed. In what would be the fight of the night Costa would win by unanimous decision, while former champion Rockhold, would emotionally announce his retirement from the UFC.
The Main Event between Welterweights, Kamaru Usman who was looking to tie Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive wins in a row at 16 would face Leon Edwards who was on a 10 fight streak of his own and looking to avenge a loss to Usman he had seven years prior in this rematch. The first round started strong for Edwards who became the first man to takedown Usman in his career and he looked for submissions for the rest of the round clearly winning it. But afterwards Edwards looked tired and would be easily taken down and dominated from the second to fourth round. In the fifth round however, after a fiery speech from Edwards corner, he looked a bit more offensive and energized although he would need a finish to win the fight. With under just a minute left when all seemed too late Edwards would fake a jab leading Usman to lean right into a head kick by Edwards dropping Usman unconscious and giving Edwards maybe the greatest comeback the sport had ever seen.
UFC 278 showed how it is quite literally never over until the final bell rings, and how brutal and unforgiving this sport can be. Edwards and Usman will likely rematch in 2023 with rumors of it happening at Wembley Stadium in England which will set up one of the biggest trilogy matchups in recent memory.