Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Predictions
Key Stat: Luke Rockhold has not been in a fight in three years
- Luke Rockhold’s last win came five years ago
- Both fighters head into this fight coming off loses
- Paulo Costa is looking to end a two-fight losing streak
Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is going to participate in his first fight in three years and it will be against 31-year-old Paulo Costa. Rockhold’s last win came in 2017 against David Branch and since then, he has lost to Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz via KO/TKO. Costa’s last two fights ended in losses. The first loss was a championship bout for the middleweight title against Israel Adesanya who won comfortably via KO/TKO. Costa’s second loss was against Marvin Vettori and it was by unanimous decision. Costa will look to bounce back from back-to-back losses and that should not be a problem as he’s the favourite in this fight against a supposed rusty Luke Rockhold.
Paulo Costa is at an advantage when we look at significant strikes landed per minute. Costa delivers 6.85 significant strikes per minute while Rockhold who’s not too far behind delivers 4.64 strikes per minute. However, with an average of 1.12 submissions per 15 minutes inside the octagon, Rockhold does have the advantage here on the ground. When battles have ended in submission in the UFC, Rockhold does have three wins to his name via this method while Costa has not won a single fight via submission in the UFC. Although Rockhold has superior grappling skills, his offensive wrestling is lacking, and he won’t be able to use his ground game against a brutally powerful opponent like Costa. Rockhold’s weakened chin won’t allow him to endure Costa’s explosiveness, hence this fight will most likely continue standing up. With the fight coming down to who strikes better, Costa has a clear advantage and I’d back him to win this fight.
- 11 of Paulo Costa’s 13 wins have come via KO/TKO
- Luke Rockhold has lost all 5 of his fights via KO/TKO.
- Rockhold’s last two losses came under two minutes via KO/TKO
Paulo Costa has won 11 of his 13 career wins via KO. I see that trend continuing in this bout as he possesses a lot of strength, and although he wasn’t able to defeat tough opponents like Yoel Romero and Vettori, he did land some powerful blows on each of them. That kind of harm simply cannot be endured by a 37-year-old Rockhold. Luke Rockhold hasn’t competed in three years, and his punch defence appeared to be diminishing. I’d back the Brazillian Paulo Costa to win this fight by KO/TKO.