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UFC 278 results: Leon Edwards stuns Kamaru Usman for welterweight title win

'Rocky' scored a fifth-round TKO to win the division belt in Saturday's rematch against Usman.
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WELTERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT: KAMARU USMAN (c) VS. LEON EDWARDS – 12:25 AM ET

A perfect left high kick made Leon Edwards the UFC's newest world champion.

Kamaru Usman had appeared to break the spirit of Edwards in the main event of UFC 278, thoroughly controlling rounds two, three, four, and the first half of the fifth. Less than a minute away from retaining his title, which would have been sixteenth straight victory, Edwards knocked out Usman to win the welterweight title.

The victory makes Edwards the first Jamaican-born UFC champion. He avenged his last loss, which was against Usman in 2015, and his redemption also includes the belt.

Edwards (20-3 MMA, 21-2 UFC) looked outstanding to start and end the fight, but it was all Usman in between. Edwards landed a takedown against Usman in the first round, taking the back to control the end of the round. That clearly grabbed hold of Usman's attention, who came out firing strikes in the second round. Edwards landed a solid, clean left, but the majority of the pressure was from Usman (20-2). He also landed a takedown at the end of the round, regaining any momentum that was lost to Edwards in the opening five minutes.

Usman (20-2 MMA, 15-1 UFC) was less than 60 seconds away from a unanimous decision until Edwards finished the fight with a flawless, spectacular head kick. That moment rewrites his future, defeating the UFC's top pound-for-pound fighter and taking his spot as the number-one welterweight in the world.

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MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: PAULO COSTA VS. LUKE ROCKHOLD – 11:41 PM ET

Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold combined to fight one of the most unusual bouts of the year.

Costa controlled the vast majority, but it was especially fascinating to watch Rockhold. In his first fight since 2019, Rockhold (16-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) was absolutely exhausted by the second round. But he endured, taking punishment from Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and, occasionally, landing a significant blow. A defining image of the bout will be Rockhold rubbing his bloody face against Costa as the third round came to an end.

The fight went the distance, and it was an easy decision from the judges to score this in favor of Costa by unanimous decision. He desperately needed this victory after dropping his past two, though a finish would have been far more meaningful. For Rockhold, retirement from the cage seems imminent. It would be shocking if he ever has another fight, but this would allow him to end his career after going the distance.

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BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT: JOSE ALDO VS. MERAB DVALISHVILI – 11:07 PM ET

Merab Dvalishvili seized control of all three rounds in a fight against Jose Aldo, picking up the most significant victory of his career by unanimous decision.

Aldo (31-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) was on the cusp of a bantamweight title shot had he won, yet he never generated offense. In contrast, Dvalishvili (15-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC) fought with relentless pressure and takedown attempts. Aldo did not gain points for his takedown defense, which was the most impressive part of his performance, but Dvalishvili certainly did with his offense. That approach wore out Aldo, who became largely stationary by the beginning of the third round.

Riding an eight-fight winning streak, Dvalishvili is now a title contender. That would be a unique situation if he were to challenge teammate/reigning champ Aljamain Sterling, who was in his corner Saturday.

WOMEN'S BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT: WU YANAN VS. LUCIE PUDILOVA – 10:34 PM ET

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Lucie Pudilova earned her first UFC victory since 2018, dominating Wu Yanan in a second-round TKO win.

Yanan (13-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) has now lost five of her six fights in the octagon. She was outclassed by Pudilova (14-7 MMA, 3-5 UFC), a grappling-heavy performance that was never in doubt. It was a smart strategy, as Pudilova controlled Yanan and then flattened her out on the ground.

Pudilova worked her way back to the UFC after a four-fight losing streak. She won five of six in her native Czech Republic, and followed that up in impressive fashion with this win in the Octagon.

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LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: TYSON PEDRO VS. HARRY HUNSUCKER – 10:25 PM ET

Tyson Pedro did exactly what he was supposed to against Harry Hunsucker.

A snapping jab from Pedro stunned Hunsucker, and then a front kick to the body effectively finished the fight. The fight ended in a TKO, finishing in just 64 seconds.

Hunsucker (7-6 MMA, 0-3 UFC) was a huge underdog. This was a fight designed to showcase Pedro (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), and he made the most of the opportunity. All nine of his pro wins have come in the first round, and he becomes an even more interesting player in the light heavyweight division with the win.

This story first published at SI.com/MMA.