What’s Next: UFC 278 Losers

Kamaru Usman, UFC 278
Kamaru Usman, UFC 278 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Leon Edwards won UFC welterweight gold at UFC 278 with a fifth-round knockout over Kamaru Usman. This, for once without hyperbole, shocked the world as Usman was winning three rounds to one heading into the fifth frame. Paulo Costa won a unanimous decision over Luke Rockhold in the co-main event. After which, Rockhold seemed to be leaning towards retirement. Today we will be looking into what is next for the losers of UFC 278.

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman was ranked first on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list heading into his sixth title defense this past weekend. A loss to Edwards knocks him down the ladder a bit. Although his notoriety as one of the best in the world probably warrants him an immediate rematch. Especially because he was winning the majority of the fight. During his time as champion, he gave both Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal rematches so it is realistic to think the UFC will give him a trilogy against Edwards in his next fight.

Usman’s next fight: Trilogy fight with Leon Edwards

Luke Rockhold

After a Fight of the Night effort, and an infamous scene of rubbing his own blood into Paulo Costa’s face, Luke Rockhold announced his retirement at UFC 278.

Rockhold’s next fight: None

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo lost a unanimous decision to Merab Dvalishvili this past weekend making him 3-3 since moving to the bantamweight division. Even with father time working against him, Aldo seems to look fresher than ever and ready to make a splash in the division. He just seemed to struggle with the grappling-heavy offense of Dvalishvili. In his next fight, Aldo should be looking to fight someone in the top ten to stay relevant.

Dominick Cruz is coming off a TKO loss to Marlon Vera just a few weeks ago and while he did look good in that fight, he ultimately came up short. A fight between Cruz and Aldo would be a great showcase between two legends of the sport trying to prove they still have what it takes to compete with the best.

Aldo’s next fight: Dominick Cruz 

Wu Yanan and Harry Hunsucker

Wu Yanan got finished in the second round by Lucia Pudilova at UFC 278. This loss puts Yanan on a four-fight losing streak. Hunsucker on the other hand is 0-3 since joining the UFC and just got finished in the first round by Tyson Pedro. So it is very likely the UFC decides to part ways with both fighters. If not, an up-and-coming fighter should be next for both.

Alexander Romanov

Alexander Romanov lost a controversial decision to Marcin Tybura this past weekend. In the first round, Romanov out stuck Tybura 30-0 in the significant strikes category. He also had four minutes and 27 seconds of control time against Tybura’s zero seconds of control time. Romanov got tired and ultimately lost round two and three but two of the judges did not award him a 10-8 round for the first round which led to him losing a majority decision. That loss marks the first of Romanov’s career. In his next fight, Romanov should be looking to fight someone in the top 15 so he can stay ranked and keep climbing the heavyweight rankings.

Blagoy Ivanov is 3-3 in the UFC and is currently ranked 15th in the division. He is coming off a decision win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima in his last fight back in May. Ivanov has great boxing which contradicts Romanov’s grappling-heavy fighting style. A win over Ivanov would keep Romanov in the top 15 and set him up for another big fight down the road.

Romanov’s next fight: Blagoy Ivanov