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Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold have one of the more interesting fights of the night. Come find out what WeBeatTheSpread is backing tonight.
ANALYSIS

Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold Prediction: Can Paulo Costa Finish Fight Fast at UFC 278?

It's been a while since we have seen either of these men in the octagon, and even longer since we have seen one of them win, but someone's losing streak will come to an end tomorrow night when Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold meet inside the octagon at UFC 278. Come check out my prediction, pick, and odds for Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold.

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Start Time, Where To Watch, and Odds

  • When: Saturday, August 20, 2022
  • Time: 10:00 PM EDT
  • Where to Watch: PPV

Click Here for Costa vs Rockhold Odds

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Prediction

Costa has been out for nearly a year now, as his last time in the octagon was back in October of last year when he lost to Marvin Vettori. This came after a title loss to the champion Israel Adesanya in 2020. Costa's last win was three fights ago against Yoel Romero in 2019.

Right there with him is Luke Rockhold. Rockhold has not fought in over three years now and is making his return back to middleweight. Rockhold has not won since 2017 against David Branch, and he has been knocked out in three of his last four fights. So Who's losing streak will come to an end in the co-main event tomorrow?

Paulo Costa has had an interesting ride in the UFC. He is one of the most dangerous middleweights from a finishing standpoint, as he has finished 12 of his 13 professional wins. Costa knocked out all four of his first four opponents when he joined the UFC, then won by decision against Yoel Romero to earn his title shot.

Ultimately, he could not dethrone Izzy Adesanya and was knocked out in the second round. I think that fight derailed him a bit mentally because, after that fight, he had a horrible weight cut in preparation for his fight against Marvin Vettori, and the fight ended up having to be moved to a catchweight bout. He also made the excuse that he was hungover in his title fight against Adesanya after drinking an entire bottle of wine the night before the fight.

He has seemed off his last few fights and hasn't looked like the killer we saw leading up to his title shot. However, I think a little time off and a re-focus on his career have benefitted him greatly. Costa appeared to have a much better weight cut this time around, weighing in at 185.5, and he also looked great. He seems fired up for this fight, and I think he comes out as the Costa we knew before his title shot after suffering the first back-to-back losses of his career.

Luke Rockhold is old. I hate to be so blunt, but he is over the peak of his career. Maybe I could be wrong because we have seen people like Glover Teixeira become champions late in their careers, but Rockhold seems worn out physically, as his last four fights indicate.

Rockhold is 16-5 in his career, and all five losses were by knockout. When he won the UFC belt against Chris Weidman, he was 15-2. Now, he has lost three of his last four fights, and the one win was against David Branch. Even in the fight against Branch, though, Rockhold was rocked early but was able to rally and win in the second round. It seems like any time Rockhold is fighting now, he is on the wrong end of a massive blow that lands flush on his chin. Not the kind of thing you want to see when you're about to enter the octagon against Paulo Costa, who has sledgehammers for hands.

If Luke Rockhold wins this fight, it will be with grappling. Rockhold is one of the best grapplers in the middleweight division, and he has several marquee wins over top opponents using his grappling. He has a submission win over long-time legend Lyoto Machida, former champion Michael Bisping, and former champion Chris Weidman.

Half of Rockhold's 16 wins have come by submission, and I suspect he will look to grapple in this fight. Paulo Costa has incredible power at middleweight, and when he is on, he will use flurries of powerful combinations that can put anyone away.

Given Rockhold's chin but advantageous grappling, I think we see a finish early in this fight. Both men are in desperate need of a win in this spot and will look to make a statement. Rockhold already said he wants a title shot if he wins this fight, and if that's his thought process, I doubt he is looking for a boring fight to make his bid for a title shot. Take the under in this one.

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Pick

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Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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