UFC 278: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold Picks and Predictions

Luke Rockhold vs. Paulo Costa

UFC: Saturday, August 20th at 10:00 PM ET

The Line: -- Luke Rockhold +275 / Paulo Costa -360 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold face off on Saturday in the co-main event for the middleweight bout at UFC 278 at Vivant Arena in Salt Lake City. Costa is ranked 6th in the division while Rockhold is unranked. 

Paulo “The Eraser” Costa comes into this fight with a 13-2 record overall but he is struggling heading into this fight. After winning his first 13 fights he has hit a rough patch and lost two in a row. Two fights ago against Israel Adesanya he was outstruck 55-12 and in the second round he was knocked out. In the last fight against Marvin Vettori in October of 2021 and he lost that fight by unanimous decision. He was outstruck 190-163. Costa is averaging 6.85 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 7.02 significant strikes per minute. Costa is averaging 0.21 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 50 percent of his takedown attempts. He is stopping 80 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this matchup is Luke Rockhold who sits with a 16-5 record overall and he has lost three of his last four fights. Rockhold’s last fight came against Jan Blachowicz and he really struggled. He was being outstruck 30-14 and early in the second round he was finished by knockout. Rockhold’s last win came by knockout in February of 2018 over David Branch. It’s been a long layoff for Rockhold who last fought in 2019. Rockhold is averaging 4.18 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.43 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 0.67 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 30 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 68 percent of his takedown attempts. He also is averaging 1.1 submission attempts every 15 minutes. 

Costa is coming off back-to-back losses, but he is still the better fighter coming into this one. Rockhold is coming off a long layoff and now he has to fight against Costa who is a power puncher and can finish the fight at any moment. Costa is going to lock impressive here with his power, and that is going to be the difference as Costa gets the job done. Back Costa to win by TKO/KO. 

Shane’s Pick Paulo Costa by TKO/KO

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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