UFC 278 fight card primer: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold

The co-main event of UFC 278 will feature a middleweight fight between Paulo Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Luke Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC). UFC…

By: Kristen King | 2 years
UFC 278 fight card primer: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The co-main event of UFC 278 will feature a middleweight fight between Paulo Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Luke Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC). UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 airs live from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah this Saturday, August 20th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, with the ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.



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CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to O2 Arena, London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

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How do these two stack up?

Costa: 31 years old | 6’0” | 72” reach

Rockhold: 37 years old | 6’3” | 77” reach

What have these two done recently?

Costa: L – Marvin Vettori (DEC) | L – Israel Adesanya (TKO) | W – Yoel Romero (DEC)

Rockhold: L – Jan Blachowicz (KO) | L – Yoel Romero (KO) | W – David Branch (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold is here! This fight is getting a ton of fanfare — and for good reason.

Costa and Rockhold find themselves in similar positions, as both men are in serious need of a win. ‘Borrachinha’ has suffered a second-round TKO loss to reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and a unanimous decision loss to Marvin Vettori (at light heavyweight) in his past two appearances. Costa has not won since his unanimous decision against Yoel Romero in a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded performance over three years ago.

Rockhold spent time away from the Octagon after consecutive KO losses to the aforementioned Romero and Jan Blachowicz. The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product contemplated retirement from the sport but decided against it and signed on for his return against Sean Strickland. That fight was canceled after Rockhold withdrew over a herniated disc. Several months after, the 37-year-old was paired against Costa.

Why should you care?

This is such an interesting fight. Does Costa get a KO win? Does Rockhold get it to the ground? What happens to both men afterwards? Is this the final time we see either of them in the UFC? Plenty of questions need answers, and we should get them soon.

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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