In the main event of UFC 278, the welterweight title was on the line. Pound-for-pound king and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-1) took on Leon “Rocky” Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) who finally got his shot at the title.
This shot for Edwards comes after he’s gone 9-0, 1 NC in his last ten fights. To be fair, the one No Contest was a fight that he was dominating against Belal Muhammad. His last fight came at UFC 263 where he put on a clinic against Nate Diaz. Granted, he did get hurt badly in the final minute of the fight.
The last man to defeat Edwards is the man he fought tonight. Kamaru Usman used his wrestling to stifle Edwards in their first fight. That win was one of many that led Kamaru Usman to the UFC welterweight title.
Usman has been perfect inside the octagon and he was looking for his sixth title defense tonight. The last time we saw the champ was at UFC 268 when he had a hard fought win over Colby Covington in their rematch.
UFC 278 Recap
The UFC 278 main event kicks off without a touch of the gloves. Edwards takes the center and immediately starts feinting the jab. Body kick lands for Edwards to start the striking. Usman pressing forward here trying to find his range.
Low kick lands for Edwards and Usman upping the pressure a little. Another nice body kick lands for Edwards. Low kick from Usman and he shoots for a takedown. Edwards defends perfectly but slips on the exit and Usman jumps right on him.
A scramble for Edwards and he gets back to his feet, but Usman still has ahold of him. Usman presses the challenger against the fence and he tries dragging him to the ground. Edwards briefly hits the ground but pops right back up to his feet.
Out of no where, Edwards lands a trip takedown on Usman and goes right into the mount. Huge moment for the challenger here in the opening round. Huge elbow lands for Edwards. Usman tries scrambling, but Edwards gets his back and he locks in the body triangle.
Edwards trying for the rear naked choke here. These two are hand fighting here. Incredible drama here in the opening round. Usman is going to survive but that’s a clear first round for Leon Edwards at UFC 278.
Entering the second at UFC 278 and a ton of confidence in the corner of Leon Edwards. Usman opens right up with pressure to start the second. Body kick lands for Edwards to start his striking. Nice combination from Edwards and Usman counters with a left.
Usman throws a combination that he chains into a clinch. Knee to the body on the break from Edwards. Edwards gets his foot caught in the fence and Usman tries to take advantage. Huge shots attempted by Usman but Edwards is defending well.
Edwards circles around and holds the center. Usman lands a big low kick and Edwards counters with one of his own. Lots of pressure here from Usman. Nice knee to the body lands for Edwards as usman comes forward. Straight left hand for the challenger. Body kick from the champion now lands.
Right hand from Usman stings Edwards. Big left hand from Edwards briefly backs him off. Takedown attempt from Usman. Heavy cage pressure as Edwards defends. Foot stomps from the champion. Edwards breaks and then he shoots for his own takedown.
However, Usman defends well and they are back up. Big elbow from Usman and Edwards lands one of his own. Heavy pressure from Usman and he lands a couple of nice hooks to the body. Takedown from the champion and he lands an elbow. Round two comes to a close and it’s 1-1 at UFC 278.
I have the fight even after two, but the UFC champion has the momentum here. Usman takes the center to start the third. Kick attempt from Edwards is blocked by the champion. Low kick from Edwards lands and Usman counters with a jab. Short left lands for Edwards.
Another stiff jab lands for Usman. Takedown attempt from Usman and he gets it easily this time. However, Edwards is able to get back to his feet. Usman presses him against the fence and starts kneeing the thigh. Great control here from the champion and he drops down for another takedown.
However, Edwards is able to break away and get back to striking. Nice right straight lands for Edwards and he follows with a knee. Usman throws a big combination back at Edwards and then he chains it into a takedown. The champion is able to take the back here with two minutes to work.
Usman just riding Edwards here with one minute left in the round. Not a ton of action right now. Edwards tries to scramble, but Usman chains into the next position and keeps him down. Usman looking for a choke here. The round comes to a close and the champion is pulling away at UFC 278.
Entering the fourth round at UFC 278 and Edwards desperately needs to change the momentum. Usman takes the center to start the fourth round. Low kick lands for Edwards. Big jab lands for Usman and Edwards lands another low kick.
Edwards’ corner is begging for him to use his hands. Usman overswings and Edwards gets a clinch. Edwards gets his back and is holding him against the fence. Usman gets away with a fence grab and then he breaks away. Immediate takedown from Usman.
Big shots from the top from the champion. Halfway through the fourth round and Edwards looks completely dejected here on the bottom. He’s trying to get up, but Usman is all over him. Heavy pressure from the champion. Edwards gets to his fence, but he’s still controlled by Usman.
The challenger just can’t get away from the champion. Usman comes forward with big power in the final seconds and the round comes to a close. 3-1 Usman at UFC 278.
Entering the final round and it’s starting to look like it’s going to take a miracle for Leon Edwards at UFC 278. Usman immediately presses forward to start the final frame. Jab to the body lands for Usman. Knee to the body lands for Edwards but he just looks out of it here.
Both men trade jabs and Usman goes right back on the takedown attempt. Edwards defends well, but he can’t break away. The crowd begins to boos and the referee threatens to separate them. The boos start to get louder and Usman drops down for another takedown attempt.
Nothing happens after and Herb Dean separates them. Usman immediately takes the center and Edwards lands a body kick. 1-2 from Edwards and then a kick lands low which pauses the action. Back under way and Usman lands a brutal body kick.
Low kick from Edwards lands. Another low kick from Edwards but nothing with a lot of pop. Out of no where a head kick from Edwards and Usman is out cold. Oh my god, Leon Edwards is the UFC welterweight champion.
Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman by KO – Round 5