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What’s next for the stars of UFC 278?

The Octagon headed to Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday for a solid UFC 278 card, which saw the welterweight title on the line in the main event.

In the main event, Kamaru Usman was looking to defend his belt and tie Anderson Silva’s record of starting out a UFC career 16-0 as he rematched Leon Edwards. In the co-main event, Paulo Costa took on Luke Rockhold while Merab Dvalishvili fought Jose Aldo on the main card.

In the end, it was Edwards winning by fifth-round head kick KO to become the new champ in stunning fashion. Costa earned a decision win over Rockhold, who retired after the loss, and Dvalishvili beat Aldo by decision. Now, after UFC 278 here is what I think should be next for the fighters involved in the big fights.

Leon Edwards & Kamaru Usman

We’ll be lumping these two together as it’s clear they will be running it back sometime next year in a trilogy bout. Usman was one minute away from winning the fight until Edwards landed a perfectly placed head kick that knocked him out.

Although Jorge Masvidal has said he wants to face Edwards, Usman was a dominant champion that deserves an immediate rematch. Both men have also expressed interest in making that happen so likely in the first quarter of 2023 the two will have their rematch.

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa returned to the win column at UFC 278 as he beat Luke Rockhold by decision in a very fun fight. The Brazilian did not get the KO as he thought but getting back into the win column was big for Costa – who also fought out his UFC contract.

If Costa does re-sign with the UFC, a logical next fight is to face the winner of Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland which headlines a card on Oct. 15. The winner of that fight can then likely be in line to get a title shot.

Merab Dvalishvili

Merab Dvalishvili
(via Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Merab Dvalishvili extended his win streak to eight at UFC 278 with a lackluster decision win. Although he beat the number three ranked bantamweight, Dana White wasn’t pleased with his performance so he will likely need multiple more fights before he gets a crack at the belt.

However, Dvalishvili has also said he won’t fight Aljamain Sterling who is the champ due to them being friends. With that, next time out, the Georgian should take on Rob Font who is a perennial contender and would be another challenge for Dvalishvili.

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo’s title run has halted for a bit but the Brazilian still isn’t far off from fighting for gold at bantamweight again, despite the loss at UFC 278. When he returns, the fight to make is Aldo vs. Dominick Cruz in a five-round Fight Night main event. Both men are coming off losses and it’s a fight many fans have called for, for years. The timing makes perfect sense for the fight to happen early next year.

What do you think should be next for the stars of UFC 278?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM