UFC 278: Fans absolutely loved the depravity that was Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold

See how the MMA community reacted to a wild affair between Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold at UFC 278, which turned out to be Rockhold’s last

Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold traded plenty of barbs in the lead-up to their UFC 278 co-main event, and the two delivered a memorable bout that ultimately ends up being Rockhold’s retirement fight.

Unfortunately for Rockhold, Costa came out on top via decision.

Costa locked Rockhold in a clinch early and delivered several damaging strikes that hurt Rockhold. Costa then scored a takedown and landed more, but he became the victim of a guillotine attempt once into mount.

Rockhold came out firing in the second round, but he was caught once more by one of Costa’s punches. Rockhold tried to get the grappling edge but he gave up his back to Costa. The two got back toward the center and traded big shots, with Rockhold aiming for the body and Costa looking to land upstairs — and Rockhold looking more gassed. Costa appeared to have the fight won in the second, but referee Mike Beltran determined Costa’s uppercut landed to the groin.

Rockhold scrambled after Costa slipped in the third round, but Costa quickly brought the fight back to the feet and landed more damaging shots on an exhausted Rockhold. Rockhold got Costa’s attention with a couple of strong shots to the head, but he was too tired to fully take advantage. Costa stuffed a Rockhold takedown. The fight remained on the ground, but in the last few seconds, Rockhold got on top and rubbed his nose blood all over Costa’s face.

All three judges scored the bout 30-27 for Costa.

UFC 278: Twitter react to Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold

After an 8-0 run to start his MMA career, Costa won his first five UFC fights, scoring wins over Johny Hendricks, Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero. Costa challenged Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 253 but was finished in the second round. Costa’s most recent bout prior to tonight saw him drop a decision to Marvin Vettori — a bout that took place at light heavyweight due to weight issues for Costa.

This fight marked Rockhold’s first in just over three years, last competing in a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight at UFC 239. After defeating Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 194, Rockhold dropped three of the four most recent bouts he had entering UFC 278.

UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards takes place on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, live from the Vivint Arena, in Salt Lake City, UT. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on site, for all your news and highlights.

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