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UFC 278: Leon Edwards shocks Kamaru Usman with last-minute head kick to win welterweight title

Leon Edwards started extremely fast and withstood a Kamaru Usman comeback to win the welterweight title in impressive fashion at UFC 278.

Usman was taken down and even mounted by Edwards in a bizarre first round, but buckled down over the last four rounds only get caught in the last minute by a massive left head kick from the challenger.

Edwards, who is known as a striker and not for his ground game, surprised Usman in the first frame showcasing a vastly improved repertoire from their first fight seven years ago. But Usman seemed to adjust and used his patent grappling to neutralize Edwards for the most part over the next three and a half rounds.

The win keeps Edwards unbeaten in eleven fights (10-0-0, 1NC) and brings the welterweight crown to Birmingham, England for the first time.

Usman (20-2-0) lost for just the second time in 22 contests. His 15-fight win streak in the UFC came to an end, just one fight short of tying the record of 16 straight wins held by Anderson Silva.

UFC president Dana White acknowledged in the post-fight press conference that a rematch against Usman in Wembley Stadium would be the logical choice for Edwards.

Edwards and Victor Altamirano won performances of the night, while Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold earned Fight for the Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

UFC 278 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS DANIEL DA SILVA VS. VICTOR ALTAMIRANO

WINNER: VICTOR ALTAMIRANO VIA TKO (PUNCHES AND ELBOWS) R1 3:39

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: DANIEL DA SILVA VIA UD

Andrews: Victor had his car double-parked so he finished the fight early.

QILENG AORI VS. JAY PERRIN 

WINNER: QILENG AORI VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: JAY PERRIN VIA SD

Andrews: Good win for Aori. That did not come easy.

#11 AMIR ALBAZI VS. FRANCISCO FIGUEIREDO 

WINNER: AMIR ALBAZI VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R1 4:34

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: FRANCISCO FIGUEIREDO VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: That was impressive. Still undefeated.

UFC 278 PRELIMS 

A.J. FLETCHER VS. ANGE LOOSA 

WINNER: ANGE LOOSA VIA UD (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: A.J. FLETCHER VIA UD

Andrews: Fletcher just¬†couldn’t shake¬†Loosa off of him.

SEAN WOODSON VS. LUIS SALDANA

WINNER: SPLIT DRAW (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: SEAN WOODSON VIA UD

Andrews: That illegal knee by Saldana proved to be costly.

LEONARDO SANTOS VS. JARED GORDON

WINNER: JARED GORDON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: JARED GORDON VIA UD

Andrews: Gordon mashed out another one.

#11 MARCIN TYBURA VS. #13 ALEXANDER ROMANOV

WINNER: MARCIN TYBURA VIA MD (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: ALEXANDER ROMANOV VIA SD

Andrews: Close fight, but the experience of Tybura proved to be the difference.

MAIN CARD

TYSON PEDRO VS. HARRY HUNSUCKER 

WINNER: TYSON PEDRO VIA TKO (BODY KICK AND PUNCHES) R1 1:05

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: TYSON PEDRO VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Pedro went in there and took care of business.

WU YANAN VS. LUCIE PUDILOVA

WINNER: LUCIE PUDILOVA VIA TKO (ELBOWS) R2 4:04

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: LUCIE PUDILOVA VIA UD

Andrews: Lucie! That’s how¬†you finish a fight.

#3 JOSE ALDO VS. #6 MERAB DVALISHVILI 

WINNER: MERAB DVALISHILI VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: JOSE ALDO VIA UD

Andrews: Aldo did well, but the grappling and gas tank of Merab was too much.

#6 PAULO COSTA VS. LUKE ROCKHOLD 

WINNER: PAULO COSTA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: PAULO COSTO VIA TKO

Andrews: Rockhold was tough, but he was simply too old.

MAIN EVENT

(C) KAMARU USMAN VS. #1 LEON EDWARDS 

WINNER: 

GREENWOOD PREDICTION: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD

Andrews: 

Greenwood: 

The next UFC event is UFC Fight Night 209, which is set for Sept. 3 at the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane takes on Tai Tuivasa in the main event.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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