Veteran middleweight fighters Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold clash in a three-round encounter as part of the UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2. The fight will happen at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 20. Matches will start at 10:00 PM ET, with ESPN covering the fight on live television. UFC Fight Pass will feature the showdown via live stream. Former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion Rockhold steps into the octagon for the first time in over three years with the hope of ending his two-fight losing skid.
Costa makes his first appearance in the ring almost ten months after succumbing to Marvin Vettori in a light heavyweight encounter. Both fighters seek to secure a victory that will place them back in the middleweight ranks and possibly gain a crack at the 185-pound title. UFC fight odds see Rockhold as an underdog to beat Costa, and betting experts expect the power-punching Brazilian to win the fight via knockout.
UFC 278: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold Betting Information
The Brazilian mixed martial artist is coming off a two-game losing skid after starting his MMA career on a 13-fight winning streak. The 31-year-old Belo Horizonte native absorbed his first loss to Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship in September 2020. A year later, Costa (13-2 win-loss) fought in the light heavyweight class but succumbed to Marvin Vettori. In that fight, he received a point deduction in the second round due to an eye poke. Currently ranked sixth in the middleweight rankings, Costa’s striking is world-class, with 11 of his wins ending by knockout. His striking prowess will be in full showcase once again in his clash against former Strikeforce and UFC champion Rockhold, who also has the propensity to stop his foes.
The American fighter had a hot start in his first eight years in the MMA circuit, winning 15 of his first 17 matches. That included his title-clinching wins in Strikeforce and UFC. However, things spiraled down on Rockhold (16-5) in his next four fights as he lost three times to Michael Bisping, Yoel Romero, and Jan Blachowicz. The 37-year-old makes a comeback in the octagon against a fellow hungry fighter in Costa. A win will bring back Rockhold to the middleweight contenders’ list and possibly a title shot in the future. A loss could be tragic for the two-time champion as it may cause him to hang up his gloves for good.
Costa vs. Rockhold Betting Numbers
|Weight||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Win by KO/TKO||85%||38%|
|Strikes Landed Per Minute||6.85||4.18|
|Striking Absorbed Per Minute||7.02||2.43|
Costa vs. Rockhold Summary
Both fighters are looking to stop their two-fight skid, but it will be interesting for the veteran Rockhold as he has not fought for more than three years. Hopes are high for Costa to win via knockout as he has -160 odds of doing it while Rockhold is at +1100. The American has a better chance of winning the fight via submission as odds put him at +850 to end the bout by that method compared to Costa’s +2250. A decision would merit a +500 moneyline for Costa and +550 for Rockhold. Overall, Costa is a -350 favorite to win the bout against Rockhold, who comes in as a +275 underdog, online sportsbooks indicate.
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