For a moment, UFC middleweight Paulo Costa struggled to understand what Luke Rockhold had done in the dying moments of their UFC 278 encounter. When he realized what had happened, he expressed the common response to Rockhold’s face-smearing of blood.
Paulo Costa’s Reaction
“I didn’t see it in the moment of the fight,” Costa said at the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view event. “I just felt something on my face, but I was so worried about blocking his arms to not get elbowed in the face and punched. But I felt something.
“Now, when I saw, it’s a very disgusting scene. It’s a very weird moment.”
Without taking any additional elbows, Costa made it through the fight. All he had to endure in those final seconds was some of Rockhold’s blood on his face and mouth. After two losses in the octagon, including a disastrous title fight against champion Israel Adesanya, he returned to the winning side with a unanimous decision by scores of 30-27.
Additionally, he received some highlight material that he would have preferred to avoid.
Paulo Costa on UFC 278
“I saw the moment where [Yoel] Romero kisses [Rockhold] after beating him, as well,” Costa said. “That was the weirdest moment that I had seen, but this beat that moment. I don’t know why Luke did that. Maybe he was so frustrated and angry because he was losing the fight. But I took a very long shower after the fight.”
Even reaching the third round wasn’t something Costa initially anticipated. He had every indication from Rockhold that he wouldn’t need judges to render the final decision. The majority of the spectators were taken aback when the former middleweight champion summoned the strength to swear at him and give him a direct punch before their awkward encounter in the dying seconds. However, Rockhold’s tenacity was on full display following a three-year absence that raised concerns about his future in the sport.
“Yes, I thought when I saw him put his hands on his knees and show how tired he was, I thought maybe this guy won’t finish the last moment of the third round,” Costa said. “But some way, he put me there, and maybe I didn’t pressure him a lot. I let him survive a little bit, just getting points round by round.”
Costa can advance to his next stage of his career, whatever it may be, having learned his lessons. Although he made it clear that Saturday’s fight would be his last obligation, the Brazilian is unsure whether or not he still has another fight left on his contract. Dana White, president of the UFC, stated that the former title challenger should be signed again.
Costa will work harder the next time to get better highlight-reel material, regardless of where he ends up.
Thank you for reading it. Leave us a comment if you liked it.
Have a good day ahead 🙂