Luke Rockhold Sizable Underdog Against Paulo Costa at UFC 278

Paulo Costa V Luke Rockhold UFC

  • Luke Rockhold has opened as the +220 underdog against Paulo Costa (-220) at UFC 278.
  • Rockhold has not fought since losing to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 in July 2019.
  • Cost is coming off a decision loss to Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41 last October.

Sportsbooks aren’t giving Luke Rockhold much of a chance to win his comeback fight.

The former middleweight champion has opened as a sizable betting underdog in his upcoming bout with Paulo Costa:

Rockhold and Costa have been booked to fight at UFC 278 on August 20th at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah in an event that will be headlined by Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards for the UFC welterweight title.

Jan Blachowicz Destroyed Luke Rockhold

Luke Rockhold has not fought since losing to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 last July 6, 2019. In that bout, Blachowicz destroyed Rockhold with a massive left hand that slept the former UFC middleweight champion. The loss was Rockhold’s third in four bouts with all losses coming via knockout. He was supposed to fight Sean Strickland last October but withdrew from the bout after suffering an injury.

The 37-year-old from Santa Cruz, California is a former Strikeforce Middleweight champion who joined the UFC in 2013. After losing to Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut at UFC on Fox 8, Rockhold won five consecutive bouts en route to becoming the UFC middleweight champion. Overall, Rockhold has a record of 16-5 with six knockouts and eight wins via submission.

Rockhold closed as the betting favorite in all of his four UFC losses while opening as the underdog in his losses against Vitor Belfort (+100) and Yoel Romero (+150). The only bout where he opened and closed as the bottom dog was when he fought Chris Weidman at UFC 194. Rockhold won that bout and became middleweight champion.

Marvin Vettori Beats Paulo Costa in 5-Round Thriller

Like Rockhold, Paulo Costa heads to this bout coming off a loss. However, while Rockhold was dominated by Blachowicz, Costa engaged Marvin Vettori in a five-round thriller at UFC Vegas 41 last October. Vettori won the bout via scores of 48-46 across all three judges’ scorecards but Costa was deducted one point due to an eye poke.

The 31-year-old from Minas Gerais, Brazil is a former Jungle Fight middleweight champion. Costa joined the UFC in 2017 and won his first five bouts, including four via knockout. At UFC 253, he challenged Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship and lost via second-round TKO. Costa is 13-2 with 11 knockouts and one submission victory.

Costa opened and closed as the betting favorite in each of his first four bouts closing at -200 odds or better. The Brazilian closed as the betting underdog in three consecutive bouts after that, winning just once during that stretch. Costa has not lost with the minus money sign written next to his name.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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