Saturday’s UFC 278 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Salt Lake City, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Vivint Arena.
1 – Leon Edwards
In a division home to some of the UFC’s greatest champions, Leon Edwards now rules 170 pounds, and in beating Kamaru Usman and claiming the belt, all that could be said is that it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. A true ambassador of the sport, Edwards came up the hard way but never used that as a crutch. He was just going to keep moving forward until he got where he wanted to go. And it may have taken him until 4:04 of the fifth round to get there last weekend, what matters is that he made it. Now you can call him champion.
2 – Paulo Costa
Every sport needs a Paulo Costa, that guy (or gal) who does their own thing, sometimes with no rhyme or reason, but that is good enough to keep you interested and invested. And in beating Luke Rockhold, the Brazilian showed that he’s still good enough to be among the best at 185 pounds, as well as erratic enough to make every fight a mystery. Speaking of mysteries, what happens in the future for the former world title challenger is open to debate, but I get the impression that he likes it that way.
3 – Luke Rockhold
There was a point in his co-main event against Paulo Costa that Luke Rockhold could have called it a day and no one would have thought twice about it. But the former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion never stopped pushing, never stopped fighting. And though the end result on paper was a loss, making it to the final horn and showing just what he was made of is a win for a fighter who left his mark on this sport.
4 – Merab Dvalishvili
No matter what happens for Merab Dvalishvili for the rest of his career, the Georgian cardio machine can always say that he beat Jose Aldo. And that means a lot, especially with Aldo surging at a time in his career where most would be experiencing its final stages. But with Aldo looking better than he has in years and Dvalishvili also on a hot streak, something had to give, and it was the pressure of “The Machine” that got him the win, his eighth in a row.
5 – Marcin Tybura
Coming off a loss to Alexander Volkov and facing a 16-0 opponent, Marcin Tybura was clearly seen as the gatekeeper for Alexandr Romanov to move into the heavyweight Top 10 and start making his move towards the title picture. But Poland’s Tybura had other ideas, weathering some storms to pound out a three-round majority decision win to keep his own title hopes alive. And with a 6-1 slate in his last seven, those hopes are more alive than ever. No gatekeeper here.
UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 took place live from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 20, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses- and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!