UFC 278 goes down this weekend at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. In the co-main event, Paulo Costa takes on former champ Luke Rockhold in a middleweight matchup.
Both Costa and Rockhold are coming off back to back losses. Costa most recently lost to Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41, whereas Rockhold suffered a brutal second round knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 in 2019. The Brazilian was extremely unprofessional in his last fight, but he looks dialed in this time around.
UFC 278: Costa vs Rockhold Analysis And Prediction
Paulo Costa is a vicious striker, with one punch knockout power, which is bad news for Rockhold, who has subpar offensive striking and his defence isn’t high level either. Rockhold is an excellent wrestler however and should rely on his wrestling to take Costa down and wear him out. Costa has a good takedown defence however and is a tough cookie to crack, especially early on.
Another cause of concern for Rockhold is that he coming off a lengthy layoff, against a fighter who can easily exploit his questionable striking defence. Statistically, Costa has a better output as he lands close to seven significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Rockhold lands close to five. Costa is far more hittable however as he absorbs close to seven significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Rockhold absorbs less than three. Costa is a lot more durable than Rockhold.
While Rockhold has a great chance of winning this one by taking the fight to the mat, controlling Costa on the ground for three rounds is a tough ask, and taking his venomous shots without being hurt is an even tougher one. Expect Costa to win by KO.
Prediction: Paulo Costa by knockout
Paulo Costa (-360)
Luke Rockhold (+295)
Who do you think will win the middleweight co-main event between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold at UFC 278?