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Luke Rockhold, Paulo Costa, Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards in Salt Lake City, August 2022

Rankings Repercussions | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

How Might The Fights Saturday In Salt Lake City This Saturday Effect The Rankings? Let's Take A Look.

Let's take a look at the Salt Lake City fights that have the potential to shake up the rankings next week when UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 concludes.

Champion Kamaru Usman vs No. 2 Leon Edwards

Order UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

Kamaru Usman

Upside With Win: Big. A win in the rematch with Edwards would tie Anderson Silva (16) with the longest win streak in UFC history. It would keep him cemented as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and inch him closer to Matt Hughes and Georges St-Pierre, the only two welterweights who own more title fight wins than Usman.

Downside With Loss: Minimal. Having already beaten Colby Covington twice, he would likely become the No. 1 contender, where his undefeated status and impressive reign as champion would keep him in future title talks.

RELATED: It's Still Kamaru Usman Time

Main Event Preview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
Main Event Preview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

Leon Edwards

Upside With Win: Huge. Undefeated over the ten bouts since his last meeting with Usman, the patient work ethic of the Birmingham battler would be rewarded with the ultimate prize.

Downside With Loss: Modest. Vicente Luque (9) is the only welterweight ranked in the top ten that Edwards has defeated, so where he would fall between 2 and 9 is hard to predict. But his elite 10-fight streak would still remain top-of-mind for the rankings board voters.

RELATED: Megan Olivi Interviews Leon Edwards

No. 6 Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold (UR)

Paulo Costa

Upside With Win: Modest. Although not likely to gain much in the way of rankings, a definitive win over former champion Rockhold would demonstrate he’s still a force to be reckoned among elite middleweights.

Order UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 | Prelims Air Live On ABC & ESPN!

Downside With Loss: Huge. With his only two career losses to fighters ranked above him (champion Israel Adesanya and No. 4 Marvin Vettori), the loss of even a couple ranking spots could greatly delay a title eliminator fight or second title shot.

Luke Rockhold

Upside With Win: Huge. After a three-year sabbatical from the sport, Rockhold has been absent from the rankings for some time. Knocking off the number six guy in his return would vault Cool Hand Luke right back into the mix as if he had never left.

Downside With Loss: Minimal. As mentioned above, he hasn’t been a fixture in the rankings following a few years off, but the former champ remains a fan favorite in the sport and would likely have no trouble securing another ranked middleweight suitor.

No. 3 José Aldo vs No. 6 Merab Dvalishvili

José Aldo | Top Finishes
José Aldo | Top Finishes

José Aldo

Upside With Win: Big. Although he probably wouldn’t rise beyond his current No. 3 ranking, a victory Saturday will give “The King of Rio” a really strong case to take on the winner of UFC 280’s Sterling vs Dillashaw title bout in an increasingly crowded bantamweight field.

Downside With Loss: Also big. Tumbling back to number five or six would see the 35-year-old former featherweight champ looking up at the likes of Petr Yan, TJ Dillashaw, Cory Sandhagen, Marlon Vera, Aljamain Sterling and his UFC 278 opponent, Merab Dvalishvili.

Merab Dvalishvili

Upside With Win: Very big. On the strength on a seven-fight win streak, “The Machine” already boasts a pretty good argument for a title shot. Definitively beating a fighter with Aldo’s pedigree would arguably be the icing on the cake.

PHOTO GALLERY: Merab Dvalisvhili Prepares For UFC 278 In Salt Lake City

Downside With Loss: Modest. A loss by Dvalishvili Saturday and a win by Song Yadong September 17 vs Cory Sandhagen could potentially push the Georgian down a couple spots, but his aforementioned win streak should be enough to secure another top-ranked opponent that would keep him in the mix.

No. 11 Marcin Tybura vs No. 13 Alexandr Romanov

Alexandr Romanov Locks Up First-Round Americana | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera
Alexandr Romanov Locks Up First-Round Americana | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera

Marcin Tybura

Upside With Win: Minimal. He’d still need a couple losses from the guys just above him to crack the top ten, but a win Saturday would mark his sixth win in his last seven fights and continue to draw more chances to move up.

Downside With Loss: Also minimal. His opponent would likely take his No. 11 ranking, but Tybura owns a victory over the No. 12 heavyweight (Serghei Spivac), so any fall shouldn’t be a dramatic one.

Alexandr Romanov

Upside With Win: Solid. The undefeated Moldovan would continue his steady, seemingly inevitable march up the ranks and have him knocking on the door of a top ten opponent.

UFC 278 | DraftKings Sportsbook

Downside With Loss: Also solid. A loss could potentially drop Romanov right out of the top fifteen.

No. 11 Amir Albazi vs Francisco Figueiredo (UR)

Amir Albazi Fight Week Interview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
Amir Albazi Fight Week Interview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

Amir Albazi

Upside With Win: Modest. With an unranked opponent, a win won’t automatically move him beyond his No. 11, but in the wild, ever-shifting landscape of the flyweight division, it would set him up to crack the top ten with any losses by the men ranked above him.

Downside With Loss: Modest. It could potentially drop into the lower edge of the top 15 or out of the rankings altogether. But his 14-1 pro record points to an ability to rebound.

Order UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 | Prelims Air Live On ABC & ESPN!

Francisco Figueiredo

Upside With Win: Big. A win over Xtreme Couture’s Albazi could find him sharing the flyweight rankings ten or so spots below his big brother, champion Deiveson Figuieredo.

Downside With Loss: None. He’s currently unranked.

UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 took place live from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 20, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses- and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass