UFC 278: Leon Edwards shocks the world!

Photo credit: UFC


Leon Edwards became only the second British UFC fighter to win a title in the promotion last night at UFC 278, knocking out Kamaru Usman with a head kick in the final minute of the fifth round.

Edwards came into Salt Lake City as an underdog and knowing that Usman had beat him in their first encounter in 2015, but brushed that off, winning the first round by securing a takedown and threatening the champion with a rear naked choke attempt.

Usman would recover through rounds two, three and four, taking Edwards down repeatedly and grinding on the Brit, keeping Edwards’ back on the mat or the cage while throwing nasty little shots.

The fifth round is where the real story is though. Between rounds four and five, UFC analyst Din Thomas told the commentary booth that Edwards had lost the fight mentally as he was unable to look his corner team in the eyes, before commentators Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier starter talking about Edwards resigning himself to a decision loss and that that outcome would be in a win in it’s self for the Brit.

But as if on cue, “Rocky” would throw a left straight cross at Usman, hiding a big left roundhouse behind it that connected perfectly on the Nigerian’s chin to send him to the mat.

With that KO win, Edwards becomes the second Brit to hold UFC gold, the last British champ being Michael Bisping at middleweight.

In terms of what is next for Edwards, there seem to be two clear options. If Khamzat Chimaev beats Nate Diaz later this year, the UFC would surely have to book him in a title bout with Edwards.

The second option would be for a trilogy fight between Edwards and Usman, and with the UFC’s popularity in the UK being at an all time high with two sold out London cards this year, a first UK based PPV since UFC 204 back in 2016, which was held in Manchester.

In the co-main event, Paulo Costa took a unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

The story of the fight was Rockhold’s gas tank, or lack of one, as he looked visibly tired after just one round, and between rounds two and three, had to be dragged by his team to the stool as he seemed two gassed to walk over.

Costa had broken Rockhold’s nose early on, and with it being full of blood, forced the former champ to breathe through his mouth the entire fight, and even wobbled him at one point.

Rockhold didn’t help himself though by continually loading up on his shots, throwing each one with the intent to end the fight without any real set-up.

The bad blood between the pair had been visible throughout fight week, and that spilled over into the fight, with Rockfold audibly telling Costa “f**k you” in the second round before hitting him with a left hook, and in a ground exchange in the third round the pair could be heard to be swearing at one another.

The judges scorecards would read 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 for Costa, who picks up his first win since 2019.

Merab Dvalishvili secured a huge decision win for himself against Jose Aldo in the bantamweight division.

The Georgian fighter was relentless in his attempts to get Aldo to the floor, but while the “King of Rio” was able to stay upright, he would end up with his back to the cage and being held there.

With the two landing similar numbers in the striking, Dvalishvili’s control time would give him the edge, and all three judges would award him the fight 30-27.

The night would also see one of MMA’s biggest rarities, with a split draw between Sean Woodson and Luis Saldana.

Full Results

Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman by KO in 4:04 of round five for the welterweight title

Paulo Costa def. Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision

Merab Dvaloshvili def. Jose Aldo by unanimous decision

Lucie Pudilova def. Yanan Wu via KO in 4:04 of round two

Tyson Pedro def. Harry Hunsucker via KO in 1:05 of round one

Marcin Tybura def. Alexandr Romanov via majority decision

Jared Gordon def. Leonardo Santos by unanimous decision

Sean Woodson vs Luis Saldana ended in a split draw

Ange Loosa def. A.J. Fletcher by unanimous decision

Amir Alabzi def.Francisco Figueiredo by submission in 4:34 of round one

Aoriqiling def. Jay Perrin by unanimous decision

Victor Altamirano def. Daniel da Silva by KO in 3:39 of round one

BKFC 27 – Michael “Venom” Page makes his bare knuckle debut against Mike “Platinum” Perry

BKFC make their UK debut on Saturday, August 20th, as they take over London’s Wembley Arena with a massive headline bout, as local hero Michael “Venom” Page takes on former UFC fighter Mike “Platinum” Perry.


BKFC make their UK debut on Saturday, August 20th, as they take over London’s Wembley Arena with a massive headline bout, as local hero Michael “Venom” Page takes on former UFC fighter Mike “Platinum” Perry.

Bellator MMA has undoubtedly done BKFC a massive favour by lending “MVP” to BKFC for this event. The knockout artist has considerable drawing power and ticket selling ability, given his brash style and outgoing personality.

Not only this, but by lending Page to BKFC for their London event, they will have undoubtedly made things harder for PFL, as they head to London on Saturday too for their first card in the city, with fans now being forced to pick between the pair.

Style wise, little is known about what Page could bring to the ring on Saturday. The Londoner has never fought without gloves before but has previously boxed with a pro record of 2-0, both wins coming by knockout. “Venom” has also shown one punch knockout power inside the cage, luring opponents onto his sniper like a right cross, sending them to the mat, but MMA and bare knuckle boxing are two very different beasts.

Page will also have to contend with the brazen style of Perry, a fighter who only has forward gears and will try to take the bout into his wheelhouse, bringing Page into a brawl at every possible opportunity.

The American is no slouch, having won his last BKFC bout against Julian “Let Me Bang Bro” Lane (a former TUF contestant) and winning 11 of his 14 MMA bouts by KO.

This is the perfect fight to headline BKFC’s UK debut, a well known home town fighter against a well known American brawler, in what could potentially be a fantastic scrap.

On a slightly sour note, Paige Van Zant, who was scheduled to fight in Saturday’s co-main event, will no longer be on the card.

The former UFC fighter who has recently ventured into bare knuckle boxing and pro wrestling revealed that the decision not to fight wasn’t hers and that she was pulled from the fight with Charisa Sigala earlier this week for undisclosed reasons, stating she was disappointed to not be able to compete.

The rest of the BKFC card looks to have some fun fights, with notable names like Tyler Goodjohn, who made a name for himself in BKB with his aggressive style competing on the undercard, and former Cage Warriors lightweight champion and UFC fighter, Chris Fishgold, also making his first appearance for BKFC.

BKFC 27 can be watched via BKFC’s APP with a monthly subscription for $4.99, allowing fans to watch every fight the promotion puts on.

UFC 278 preview

Salt Lake City plays host to UFC 278 on Saturday night, as Kamaru Usman looks to defend his welterweight title against Leon Edwards in a rematch that has taken seven years to come around.


By Kieran Cobley

Salt Lake City plays host to UFC 278 on Saturday night, as Kamaru Usman looks to defend his welterweight title against Leon Edwards in a rematch that has taken seven years to come around.

Usman comes into the bout on a 19 fight win streak and is in the process of lapping the 170lbs division, having already had rematches with Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington, with his main event bout with Edwards being his third rematch in as many years.

For Edwards, UFC 278 sees his long wait for a title fight end after the Birmingham based fighter went through hell and high water to get his shot, racking up a nine fight win streak (not including his no contest with Belal Muhammed) and being taken out of the rankings for his refusal to fight a then un-ranked, Khamzat Chimaev.

The two last squared off in 2015, but both men have evolved since, and you can take a more in-depth preview of their upcoming bout here.

In the co-main event, Paulo Costa will look to show the UFC were right to let him return to the middleweight division after the fiasco with Marvin Vettori as the Brazilian takes on former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

Costa’s shenanigans with his last fight, where he notified the UFC that he wouldn’t be attempting to make 185lbs or the then agreed 195lbs, forced the fight into a light heavyweight bout, were highly unprofessional and were rightly criticised by fans and media alike. Now Costa needs to show that he can make 185lbs and keep his name in the division; otherwise, another forced move to 205lbs could be on the cards.

Meanwhile, Rockhold will try to show that he can still beat top quality opponents despite a weakened chin. The former middleweight champion has lost three of his last four bouts by knockout, showing he is susceptible to a heavy punch.

In what could be a title eliminator for the bantamweight division, Merab Dvalishvili squares off with Jose Aldo, the former featherweight king of the UFC.

Dvalishvili is currently riding a five fight winning streak, utilising his heavy wrestling offence to grind out wins over his opponents by sapping their gas tanks. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by his record of 13 takedowns in a fight when he beat Gustavo Lopez back in 2020.

Aldo has looked impressive since moving to 135lbs, and his notorious leg kicks still give his opponents problems to deal with. “The King of Rio” is known for his knockout ability with 16 wins by KO/TKO, and that would look to be his best chance at winning on Saturday, especially if he can avoid hitting the mat with “The Machine.”

Further down the card, Miranda “The” Maverick is in action as she takes on Shanna Young in a flyweight contest to open the ESPN+ prelims. In contrast, Marcin Tybura takes on Alexander Romanov in a heavyweight bout in the evening’s featured prelim.

The action gets underway from 11pm on UfC Fight Pass, with the main card kicking off at 3am.

Fight Card

Main Card

Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards – welterweight title fight

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold – middleweight bout

Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvil – bantamweight bout

Wu Yunan vs Lucie Pudilova – women’s bantamweight bout

Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker – light heavyweight bout

Preliminary Card

Marcin Tybura vs Alexander Romanov – heavyweight bout

Leonardo Santos vs Jared Gordon – lightweight bout

Sean Woodson vs Luis Suldana – featherweight bout

Miranda Maverick vs Shanna Young – women’s flyweight bout

A.J. Fletcher vs Ange Loosa – welterweight bout

Amir Albazi vs Francisco Figueiredo – flyweight bout

Aori Qilieng vs Jay Perrin – bantamweight bout

Daniel Lacerda vs Victor Altamirano – flywweight bout

Usman vs Edwards II: Repeat or revenge?

UFC 278 takes place this Saturday, August 20th, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is headlined by the long awaited rematch between current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-1, 9 KO, 1 Sub) and top contender Leon Edwards (19-3, 6 KO, 3 Sub, 1 NC).


By Kieran Cobley

UFC 278 takes place this Saturday, August 20th,in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is headlined by the long awaited rematch between current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-1, 9 KO, 1 Sub) and top contender Leon Edwards (19-3, 6 KO, 3 Sub, 1 NC).

“The pair first met in 2015, with “The Nigerian Nightmare” scoring a unanimous decision win over Birmingham native Edwards.

But seven years have passed since then, and both men have evolved during that time.

Usman’s reputation of being “boring” fighter who merely goes for decision wins has been shattered, with the TUF 21 winner utilising his wrestling background to take fighters to the mat and keep them there. That was how Usman successfully navigated his first bout with Edwards, securing six takedowns on his way to getting the nod from the judges.

That Usman is long gone. The Usman of 2022 is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, a fighter who can slam you, tie you in a tight clinch, or simply beat the brakes off you with his new found love of striking.

In three of his last five fights, Usman has scored knockout victories over the man opposite him in the Octagon, with those men being very notable: former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington, and last but not least, the BMF of the UFC, Jorge Masvidal.

This ferocity in striking, brought on from working with Trever Wittman in fight camp while training in Sanford MMA in Florida for the rest of the year, has made Usman lethal. Stepping into his boxing range is like putting your head in the mouth of a lion; nothing good can come of it.

Psychologically, Usman will feel good coming into this bout after seeing his brother, Mohammed, win the TUF Heavyweight final two weeks ago and coming into this fight on a run of 19 consecutive wins.

Edwards’ rise to the top of the welterweight division is nothing to sneer at. Since losing to Usman, the Team Renegade talisman has won nine bouts, with a no contest with Belal Muhammed in the mix too.

While Usman was regarded as being boring due to his heavy wrestling style, fans were equally unimpressed with Edwards, seeing him as a point fighter who lacked finishing ability in a division full of fighters who could get the win within the distance.

It was perhaps this fan resentment that caused Edwards to have to wait for so long for his shot; after all, he did have a more legitimate shout for a title fight than Covington or Masvidal did, with the pair getting rematches not long after being soundly beaten by Usman. At the same time, Edwards was forced to consistently hold onto his position at the top of the rankings.

There was also the issue of Edwards being removed from the rankings for not accepting a fight with the then un-ranked Khamzat Chimaev, instead opting to wait it out for either a title shot or a fight with a notable ranked contender, for instance, Nate Diaz, who Edwards beat easily.

That has to be put to the back of Edwards’ head now, and he needs to focus on Usman, a new Usman, a more dangerous Usman. If Edwards underestimates Usman and still believes him to be the same fighter he was in their first meeting, he will be in deep trouble.

There is no obvious way for Edwards to win this fight; slipping in an out of range against Usman is an impossible task given the man’s abilities and movement skills.

The bookies are certainly in favour of Usman in this fight, making him a heavy favourite with odds of ¼ to win and 11/5 to win by either submission or KO.

However, miracles can happen in MMA; Derrick Lewis’ come from behind KO against Aleksander Volkov, Matt Serra’s underdog win against George Saint-Pierre, and JuliannPena’s KO win against the double champ, Amanda Nunes.

A win for Edwards would undoubtedly be one of the most significant underdogs wins ever, but this is one hell of an uphill battle.

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