Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is set to make his octagon return against former title contender Paulo “Borrachinha” Costa at UFC 278 on August 20, 2022. The card is set to be headlined by a rematch between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards.
Rockhold’s last two appearances in the octagon did not play out like he’d hoped. He is facing Costa on the back of two devastating knockout losses, the first one being a knockout loss to Yoel Romero and the second to Jan Blachowicz (during Light Heavyweight debut).
Like Rockhold, Costa is also staring back into two defeats, back to back. He dropped an unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori and a TKO loss to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
But Rockhold seems oblivious to it. In an interview with the Schmo, Rockhold tried claiming nobody’s finished Costa:
“Look at the division and look at what Paulo’s done. No one has finished Paulo”
Schmo then proceeded to remind Rockhold that Costa has been finished by the current champion Israel Adesanya to which Rockhold replied:
“Yeah, he’s the only to finish him”
This is somewhat in line with Rockhold’s recent baffling appearance on Brendan Schaub’s podcast in which he revealed he was using mushrooms and was in fact appearing on the podcast while having consumed some.
While Rockhold’s raised serious questions regarding athlete compensation in the UFC it’s doubtful any of them will get addressed due to his lack of composure and tendency to give goofy interviews.
Paulo Costa is a -300 favorite currently with former champion’s odds estimated at +220 at most places.
Rockhold previously opened up about becoming dependent while he was going through personal problems.
It will be interesting to see how he performs in light of the devastating knock outs veterans Rory Macdonald and Dominick Cruz suffered this past weekend.
Rockhold is 37 years old but even Brendan Schaub questioned the likelihood of him having CTE – to his face.