After more than three years away from the fight game, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will make his return to cage fighting opposite one-time title challenger Paulo Costa in the UFC 278 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event this Sat. night (Aug. 20, 2022) inside Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Unfortunately for Rockhold, he may have committed a tactical error when scouting this 185-pound showdown, perhaps expecting to capitalize on a fat, unfocused Costa who was too busy drinking wine to worry about winning fights.
Quite the opposite.
“I am feeling faster, much faster than before,” Costa told the “Embedded” cameras. “It’s normal because I am lighter. I feel like a monster. Unfortunately, Luke Rockhold has really bad luck. He saw me chubby and thought, ‘I will fight this Chubby Paulo, he is not focused anymore.’ He’s got me in the best physical shape ever.”
That “shape” may have saved him from going to light heavyweight.
In the last five years, the 37 year-old Rockhold (16-5) has dropped three of four and gone to sleep in all three of his losses, including his failed light heavyweight experiment against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. As for Costa (13-2), he’s coming off back-to-back losses to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (UFC 253) and top contender Marvin Vettori (UFC Vegas 41). The loser may be eliminated from the 185-pound title chase.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 278 fight card and PPV lineup click here.