UFC 278: “Usman vs Edwards 2” Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship came to Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah tonight for UFC 278: “Usman vs Edwards 2.” The event was headlined by a UFC Welterweight Championship rematch between champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman and challenger Leon “Rocky” Edwards.

In the middleweight co-main event, Paulo “The Eraser” Costa battled Luke Rockhold. Elsewhere on the main card tonight, José “Scarface” Aldo took on Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili in a featured bantamweight contender’s matchup. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC 278 card.


UFC Welterweight Championship

Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman

Round 1:
Edwards kicked at Usman’s lead leg from a southpaw stance, but Usman clinched as soon as Edwards switched to orthodox. Usman got him down and took Edwards’s back as the fighters returned to their feet. Edwards turned into the clinch and he used a leg-sweep takedown to get Usman down into full mount. Edwards punched from the top and then took Usman’s back. He trapped him in a body triangle and worked for a rear-naked choke. Usman defended well and broke Edwards’s grip. The round ended with both fighters landing punches on the ground as Usman tried to turn into Edwards’s guard. 10-9 Edwards.

Round 2:
The second round opened with an exchange of jabs and Usman landed a right hook. He clinched with Edwards, who countered with a knee to the body. Usman used a stiff jab to set up a combination and he followed with more punches to Edwards’s body. Edwards landed a leg kick and time was called when Usman was thumbed in his right eye. The fight resumed and Usman landed a leg kick. He followed with a jab, but Edwards cracked him with a left hook. Usman landed a right hand as Edwards threw a knee to his body. After a left hook landed for Edwards, Usman clinched with him against the cage. Edwards circled free and shot in for a takedown, but Usman sprawled and held him in a front headlock. Edwards stood and landed a knee to the body on the break. Usman jabbed and landed a one-two to Edwards’s body. He took Edwards down and finished the round with elbows and punches from the top. 10-9 Usman.

Round 3:
After a cautious opening 45 seconds, the fighters traded inside-leg kicks and jabs. Usman shot in for a takedown and he got Edwards down against the base of the cage. Edwards quickly got back to his feet and Usman took his back. He kneed Edwards in the thigh until Edwards turned into the clinch and circled away to his right. Usman landed a four-punch flurry and an elbow, then tripped Edwards and took his back. Edwards eventually turned and sat up against the cage, and Usman hunted for a guillotine choke. 10-9 Usman.

Round 4:
Usman landed a hard jab and a lead left hook to begin the fourth round. Edwards took Usman’s back in a standing clinch until Usman escaped with just over three minutes remaining. Usman immediately dumped Edwards to the mat and went to work with elbows and short right hands from the top. Edwards got back to his feet and Usman maintained back control against the cage. When Edwards turned into the clinch, Usman tripped him again. Edwards grabbed the cage while standing up and time was called. The fight was restarted with Edwards on his knees. He stood up late in the round and Usman blasted him with left and right hooks to the head and body. 10-9 Usman.

Round 5:
The fighters traded jabs after circling for the opening minute and Usman flurried to Edwards’s body. He briefly took him down and Edwards stood back up. The fighters were separated at the midway point in the round and Edwards landed a right hand. He followed with a body kick that seemed to be legal, but Usman indicated that he was struck in the groin and time was called. The fight continued after a minute and the fighters resumed circling. Just as it looked like Edwards was one minute away from losing a clear decision, he landed a massive head kick that instantly knocked Usman out and sent him crashing backwards to the canvas. Incredible knockout and comeback for Edwards.

Winner: Leon Edwards by KO (Head Kick) at 4:04 of round five. He improves to 20-3-0, 1 ND and becomes the new UFC Welterweight Champion.


Paulo “The Eraser” Costa vs Luke Rockhold

Round 1:
Rockhold struck first with a lead right hook and Costa countered with a right hand that wobbled him. Rockhold shot in for a takedown and Costa landed more punches while defending. Costa landed a combination on the feet and he took Rockhold down. Costa worked his way into mount and landed punches, but Rockhold bucked him off. Rockhold briefly attempted a guillotine choke, but Costa escaped and got to mount again. Once more, Rockhold powered out from the bottom and he got to his feet. A lead right hook landed for Rockhold, who followed with four straight liver kicks. Rockhold landed a spinning back kick to the body and Costa clinched after landing a right hand. The fighters separated and Rockhold landed one more liver kick and a right hook. 10-9 Costa despite Rockhold’s rally.

Round 2:
Rockhold attacked with two left hooks and a body kick in round two. Costa landed a counter right hook and Rockhold dropped levels for a takedown. He almost took Costa’s back, but Costa scrambled free and the fighters stood up. Costa landed a body kick and an exhausted Rockhold slowed way down. He still landed a roundhouse kick to the body, however, and then attempted a head kick. Rockhold landed a body kick and a leg kick, but he was so tired that he put his hands on his knees. Time was called when Costa was poked in the eye, but action quickly resumed and Costa landed a body kick. He followed with a right uppercut that struck Rockhold in the groin. Time was called again and the fight continued after 90 seconds. Rockhold landed kicks to Costa’s lead leg and body. He followed with a spinning back kick and Costa landed a hard body kick. Another back-and-forth round. 10-9 Costa.

Round 3:
Early in the final round, Rockhold scored a knockdown with a left hook, but Costa recovered quickly and got back to his feet. He closed the distance and landed right hooks, which Rockhold answered with a pair of straight lefts. He backed Costa up with an overhand left and Costa walked forward with his hands down. He sprawled out of a Rockhold takedown and took top position in side control. Costa tried to mount Rockhold, who gave up his back. Costa held him in a body triangle, but he tried to turn into mount and Rockhold used the opportunity to spin into Costa’s guard. He remained there until the final bell. 10-9 Costa.

Winner: Paulo Costa by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 14-2-0.


Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili vs José “Scarface” Aldo

Round 1:
Dvalishvili landed an early right hand and a leg kick, but he twice failed to take Aldo down. Aldo spun Dvalishvili around with a leg kick. Dvalishvili threw leg kicks and then leapt into another clinch. Punches were exchanged in close and Dvalishvili slipped on the mat as he stepped backwards. Dvalishvili stood and Aldo landed a knee to his body. Dvalishvili landed a leg kick and a spinning back kick, but that only resulted in Aldo charging at him with punches. He landed a solid right hand late in the round and Dvalishvili fired back with a one-two. Very close round. 10-9 Aldo.

Round 2:
Dvalishvili clinched again in round two and he landed knees to Aldo’s thigh while holding him against the cage. Aldo expressed frustration and it took more than a minute for him to break free from the clinch. Dvalishvili shot in again and tied Aldo up in another clinch. Aldo countered with a left hook and the fighters separated with one minute to go. Dvalishvili was able to clinch with him again and he landed knees to Aldo’s thigh. 10-9 Dvalishvili.

Round 3:
Aldo circled on the outside and avoided a spinning back kick from Davlishvili. He countered a Dvalishvili clinch with a knee to the body. Dvalishvili landed two overhand rights, but he was unable to clinch. Aldo landed a jab and Dvalishvili responded with three punches that came up short. He landed a right hand and missed with a spinning backfist. Dvalishvili shot in for a single-leg takedown and Aldo balanced on one foot. Dvalishvili held him against the cage and threw short knees to his leg. He almost got Aldo down with body-lock takedowns, but Aldo maintained his balance. Dvalishvili took his back and kneed Aldo in the thigh. 10-9 Dvalishvili.

Winner: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 15-4-0.


Lucie “Bullet” Pudilová vs Yanan “Mulan” Wu

Round 1:
Pudilová initiated an early clinch and the fighters battled for positioning before Wu circled away. She landed two leg kicks and Pudilová responded with a takedown. Wu tried to set up an armbar from the bottom, but Pudilová passed to half-guard and then to side control. She did very little from the top, but eventually landed an elbow while holding Wu in place. Pudilová eventually passed to a high mount with 45 seconds remaining and then took Wu’s back after Wu exploded up to her feet. Wu shook her off and the round ended in a clinch against the cage. 10-9 Pudilová.

Round 2:
The fighters traded jabs in the second round, but neither one was able to follow up with anything substantial. Pudilová eventually looked for a takedown and Wu stuffed it. Pudilová got her down on her second try with a headlock throw into the scarf hold position and she transitioned to Wu’s back. Pudilová threatened with a rear-naked choke and Wu managed to break her grip. Pudilová took top position in side control and she landed elbows to Wu’s face. Pudilová mounted Wu and rained down vicious elbows that prompted referee Herb Dean to wave off the fight.

Winner: Lucie Pudilová by TKO (Elbows) at 4:04 of round two. She improves to 14-7-0.


Tyson Pedro vs Harry “The Hurricane” Hunsucker

Round 1:
Hunsucker struck first with two jabs and a leg kick. Pedro hurt him with a jab and then dropped Hunsucker with a front kick to the body. Hunsucker covered up and Pedro landed punches until the brief fight was stopped.

Winner: Tyson Pedro by TKO (Kick To The Body & Punches) at 1:05 of round one. He improves to 9-3-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)