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mixed-martial-arts | Wednesday, August 17, 2022 1:09 PM (Revised at: Friday, August 19, 2022 11:15 PM)

UFC 278 Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Best Bet: The Eraser Returns

UFC 278 Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Best Bet: The Eraser Returns
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UFC 278 Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Best Bet: Saturday, August 20th

With the main event already covered in my UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards piece, it’s time to turn our attention to the equally-important co-main event. We will see Paulo Costa taking on Luke Rockhold in the Middleweight division, and although this isn’t a title fight in itself, it will have a big impact on the division.

In this article:

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Preview

Saturday, August 20th

Paulo Costa is currently ranked 6th in the UFC Middleweight division, dropping down since facing Israel Adesanya for the title almost 2 years ago. He holds an MMA record of 13 wins and just 2 losses and is looking to get back into the title race with a win over a former champ. He is on a 2-fight losing streak and coming off a decision loss to the 3rd-ranked contender Marvin Vettori.

Paulo Costa is primarily known in the UFC as an absolute specimen standing at 1.83m height, 93kgs and dynamite in his hands. Landing 6.85 strikes per minute, and a takedown defence of 80%, to go along with 11 career KO/TKO wins, his numbers are more than impressive. He hasn’t looked very impressive in his last 2 fights, but a good training camp and a less prominent opponent are the perfect recipe to get his career back on track.

Speaking of less prominent opponents, Luke Rockhold has seen better days. The former Middleweight champion is now 37 years old and hasn’t fought in well over 3 years. That’s right, he hasn’t had a professional fight since July 2019 and has suffered KO losses in 3 of his last 5 fights. He does have career victories against huge names like Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman, but his best days are long gone, and I don’t expect him to perform very well this Saturday.

Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Best Bet

It seems like every weekend we have to say goodbye to at least one UFC great, and this time it’s going to be Luke Rockhold. The bookmakers have Costa to win at 1.30, whilst Rockhold is available at 3.50.

This is fair, but even at 3.50 odds, I don’t see any value in backing the underdog here. There just aren’t many ways in which he can win. Yes, his striking has always been great, but Costa is just too big and powerful. This isn’t even the biggest reason, as we’ve already seen Costa lose, but it’s Rockhold’s chin that’s going to be his worst enemy. This will be a 5-round event and I just don’t see him getting to the end without his head hitting the floor.

There isn’t a ton of value to be found in this fight, so we’ll have to have a look at the method of victory market. I expect Paulo Costa to finish the fight early by KO/TKO, and that’s what I’ll be backing with smaller stakes.

  • Selection: Costa to Win by KO/TKO/Submission/DQ
  • Best Odds: 1.61 (Unibet)
  • Stakes: 2/10

Odds available as of 02:00 pm August 17th 2022. Odds may now differ.

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