Paulo Costa of the UFC’s middleweight division needed some time to fully understand what Luke Rockhold had done in the closing moments of their UFC 278 encounter. When he realised what had happened, he expressed the common response to Rockhold’s face-smearing of blood.
Costa stated at the post-fight news conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view event, “I didn’t notice it at the moment of the fight.” “I just felt something on my face, but I was so focused on blocking his arms to avoid taking a punch and an elbow to the face. Still, I sensed something.
“Now, when I saw it, it was an extremely revolting scene. It’s a pretty odd time right now.
Costa avoided receiving any additional elbows during the battle. In those last few seconds, he only had to put up with Rockhold’s blood on his face and mouth. After two losses in the octagon, including a devastating title fight against champion Israel Adesanya, he returned to the winning side with a unanimous decision by scores of 30-27.
Additionally, he received some highlight material that he would have like to avoid.
Costa added, “I witnessed the scene where [Yoel] Romero kissed [Rockhold] after beating him. “That was the strangest thing I’d ever seen, but this beat it. I have no idea why Luke did that. He might have been so irate and furious because he was losing the battle. But after the argument, I had a really lengthy shower.
Costa didn’t initially plan to get to the third round. He had every indication from Rockhold that he wouldn’t require judges to provide the ultimate decision. The majority of the spectators were taken aback when the former middleweight champion summoned the strength to swear at him and give him a direct punch before their uneasy encounter in the dying seconds. However, Rockhold’s tenacity was on full display following a three-year absence that raised concerns about his future in the sport.
Yes, Costa said, “I did think this guy won’t finish the last seconds of the third round when I saw him lay his hands on his knees and show how exhausted he was. “However, he placed me there, so perhaps I didn’t exert too much pressure on him. I gave him a slight reprieve while concentrating on accruing points per round.
Costa may advance to his next stage of his career, whatever it may be, having learned his lessons. Although he made it clear that Saturday’s bout would be his last duty, the Brazilian is unsure whether or not he still has another fight left on his contract. Dana White, president of the UFC, stated that he wants to re-sign the former title challenger.
Wherever he ends up, Costa will aim to get some better highlight-reel video the next time.
UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 Main Card
Main event: At 4:04 of Round 5 Leon Edwards KOs Kamaru Usman with a left high kick. With only seconds left in the UFC 278 main event, Leon Edwards emerged as the new welterweight title of the organisation.
The challenger had a brief moment in the opening round when he tripped Usman to the ground, took mount, moved to the back, and then spent the final minute looking for a choke to demonstrate his competitiveness. Usman maintained dominance for the following three and a half rounds.
Edwards failed to hit blows with force and readily gave up takedowns as Usman’s pressure, pace, and experience in title fights increased with each round. Early in the fourth round, the challenger managed to secure a waist hold and try to sink his hooks, but Usman quickly broke free and immediately placed Edwards on the ground. He continued to grind on Edwards until letting loose with his fists just before the round came to a close.
In the fifth and final round, Usman kept up the pressure until a low blow stopped the action with little under two minutes left. As Usman remained in range after the restart, Edwards had a slight spring in his step, and “Rocky” unleashed a left high kick that landed flush and immediately out Usman’s lights.
Usman remained on the stool contemplating what went wrong as Edwards celebrated before the emotion overcame him.
Given Usman’s prolonged dominance and control of the bout, the rivals will probably have to square off again, but Edwards will enter the rematch wearing the gold medal around his waist.
In their 15-minute fight as the evening’s co-main event, Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold hurled everything with full force and malicious intent. Although Rockhold, who was competing for the first time in more than three years, had his moments, Costa was unquestionably the superior man that night, leaving Rockhold broken and bloodied.
As soon as the fight began, it was clear that Costa had the advantage in conditioning and timing since he shattered Rockhold’s nose early in the first round and never let up. Rockhold was able to find a few landing spots as his energy reserves depleted, but each time he did, Costa retaliated in kind. He shown more grappling than in the past, working to commanding positions and succeeding both on the ground and in the air.
Costa won by a unanimous decision to end a two-fight losing streak and confirm his place among the world’s best middleweights.
After the match, an emotional Rockhold declared his retirement while fighting back tears and was met with a thunderous ovation from the Salt Lake City audience. The former champion is ending his career on a three-fight losing streak, but he was among the greatest in the world at his peak and deserves to be recognised for his accomplishments rather than how it finally turned out.
Merab Dvalishvili defeats José Aldo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Merab Dvalishvili’s quickness and Salt Lake City’s altitude combined to wear down José Aldo, resulting in the rising Georgian wrestler’s biggest victory of his career.
Even though Davlishvili was unable to take down the Brazilian superstar, he still won all of the bouts by unanimous decision. The man dubbed “The Machine,” Dvalishvili, applied constant pressure from the start and never let up. He closed the gap and often forced Aldo to defend, opting for prolonged clinching along the fence and knees to the thigh attacks.
Although Aldo occasionally connected with hard shots in rounds one and two, his output was constrained and fell off as the bout went on. Aldo was unable to breathe as Dvalishvili continued to advance and the former featherweight champion grew weary.
Dvalishvili has won eight straight matches in the deepest, most difficult division in the promotion after losing his first two fights in the UFC. He is in line to challenge for the championship and possesses a fighting style that might make him a terrifying threat in five-round contests.
Lucie Pudilova defeats Wu Yanan by TKO (elbows) at 4:04 of Round 2
On Saturday, Lucie Pudilova made her first appearance in the UFC in almost two and a half years. She looked fantastic and defeated Wu Yanan via second-round knockout.
Before returning to the regional circuit, the Czech fighter went 2-5 during her first tour of service, demonstrating courage and tenacity against challenging opposition. During her six-fight reset, she went 5-1, and she returned in Salt Lake City with a vengeance, pulling Wu to the ground in both the first and second rounds. Pudilova chose to simply slam home elbows from rear mount after failing to find a choke, causing referee Herb Dean to intervene and call time on the fight.
Pudilova wins the fight to extend her winning streak to three and earns her first UFC victory since defeating Sarah Moras in early 2018. Wu now has a record of 12-6 overall and 1-5 inside the Octagon after the defeat.
At 1:05 in Round 1, Tyson Pedro TKOs (strikes) Harry Hunsucker.
Tyson Pedro made a strong comeback on Saturday night, winning his second straight first-round stoppage fight after spending more than three years on the sidelines.
Harry Hunsucker, a divisional newbie, was caught by Pedro with a quick jab as he moved forward, and the Australian pounced as soon as he felt the damage. Hunsucker covered up and fell to the ground as Pedro kicked him in the midsection as he advanced. The subsequent hits were ineffective, ending the match 64 seconds after it began.
The amiable light heavyweight got the main card started on Saturday by earning his second victory in five months while competing in front of excited spectators. With the victory, Pedro, who is now 30 years old, improves to 9-3 and re-establishes himself in the light heavyweight division.
Usman vs. Edwards 2: Prelims, UFC 278
Marcin Tybura wins by a wide margin over Alexandr Romanov (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
On Saturday night, Marcin Tybura defeated Alexandr Romanov for the first time.
The seasoned Top 15 fighter was repeatedly lifted and pounded to the ground by Romanov in the opening round as the undefeated Moldovan heavyweight tried to finish the veteran quickly. It was evident that Romanov was out of gas before the second round began because the Polish veteran had survived the opening assault.
Tybura controlled the next two frames by moving slowly and methodically, kicking at Romanov’s legs and waist while sprinkling in the occasional clean punch that connected.
It appeared as though the two would fight to a draw when Romanov dominated the first round, pitching a shutout, but because only one judge gave the unbeaten wrestler a 10-8 score in the opening round, Tybura rallied to claim the victory.
After losing to Alexander Volkov in October of last year, Tybura has won seven of his past eight matches, knocking Romanov out of the list of the unbeaten in the process.
Leonardo Santos is defeated by Jared Gordon in a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
With a competent performance against Leonardo Santos on Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Jared Gordon returned to the winning column.
The second part of the opening stanza saw Gordon patiently work his way within the length of Santos, landing nicely to both the head and body to drain the Brazilian’s gas tank and earn some cash. With the exception of a brief period when Santos attempted a takedown and Gordon clutched a few pieces of fence to prevent being dumped on the mat, he controlled the action for the majority of the second.
Gordon was unmistakably the younger, more energetic guy in the third round, pushing forward and continuing to score blows to the head and body. The 42-year-old veteran was unable to escape, but “Flash” was unquestionably the superior guy throughout.
Gordon wins to improve to 7-4 in the UFC and 19-5 overall, while Santos suffers his third consecutive defeat following an eight-fight unbeaten streak to start his UFC career.