MMA fighting

Morning Report: Luke Rockhold thinks UFC 278 win will earn him title shot: ‘I won’t do anything else’

Luke Rockhold believes a strong performance over Paulo Costa will get him a shot at the middleweight title.

This Saturday, Rockhold takes on Costa in the co-main event of UFC 278. It will be the former middleweight champion’s first fight in more than three years since his loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239, and his first middleweight fight in over four years. But despite his long absence from the sport and the division, Rockhold believes a win over Costa, currently the No. 6 ranked middleweight in the UFC rankings, will be good enough to give him another shot at the 185 championship. books.

“Then,” Rockhold told Helen Yee when asked how soon he thought he could fight for the championship. “I’m not going to do anything else. If I don’t understand, they don’t understand.

Rockhold won the UFC middleweight title at UFC 194 in 2015, but after winning the belt his career took a precipitous downturn. He lost the title to Michael Bisping six months later, bounced back with a win over David Branch, then was knocked out by Yoel Romero in an interim title fight in 2018. Rockhold then tried to move up to light heavyweight, but was again eliminated. in the aforementioned Blachowicz fight. Still, as a former champion and with the current state of the middleweight division, Rockhold might be right that a win can catapult him into a title shot, it’s just a matter of who against. ? Current champion Israel Adesanya is set to defend his title against kickboxing rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281, and Rockhold isn’t quite sure who will come out of this one with the belt.

“It just depends on how Israel fights,” Rockhold said. “If Israel tries to fight it – because it’s in its head. If he’s in his head and you let guys get in your head – he lost to him in a close match and then he got cut in the second one because he let it in his head . It was in his head. You can see it was in his head. So if Israel lets it in its head this time around, that’s interesting. Israel has to control itself and it has to fight MMA. We all know that Alex Pereira sucks on the pitch. Even Israel could probably f****** put him down. This kid is dangerous as hell on the feet, so it’s all about Israel, his headspace and how he fights him.

But before Rockhold counts his chickens, he has to worry about his own fight. Costa is a former middleweight title challenger who finds himself in the same position with his back against the wall. Costa was knocked out by Adesanya at UFC 253 and then dropped a unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori last October. Another defeat could be disastrous for Costa’s career, and therefore he looks to be in phenomenal shape going into this fight, but according to Rockhold, it’s simply a matter of himself. Rockhold believes that if he fights to his potential, everything will happen on its own.

“I’m not looking to do anything, just be myself,” Rockhold said. “When I come out of me, you see what happens, I have shitty performances. When I’m relaxed and confident and just happy and having fun, that’s when that you see the Luke Rockhold that everybody really liked in the first place. The last few years, four or five years, it’s not really me, and you see the change…

“So for me, being myself, relaxing, finding my openings. I think this guy knows he has to come get me, and I’m going to hurt him every time he comes, and I’m going to put him down.

UFC 278 takes place this Saturday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Results. Marlon Vera knocked out Dominick Cruz in the fourth round at UFC San Diego.

Results. Dilano Taylor, Sadibou Sy, Ante Delija and Matheus Scheffel have earned their place in the PFL Welterweight and Heavyweight Finals at PFL Playoffs 2.

Results. Goiti Yamauchi knocked out Neiman Gracie with an uppercut at Bellator 284.

Goodbye. Rory MacDonald announces his retirement following the exit of the 2022 PFL Playoffs.

Shadow. Marlon Vera: Dominick Cruz’s signature approach ‘very low level’ and ‘not the best style for MMA’.

Farewell too. Nina Nunes explains retirement from UFC, hopes for second daughter with Amanda Nunes.

Policy. BJ Penn garners less than 25% of the vote in Hawaii’s primary election defeat for Republican governor.

UFC post show in San Diego.

Paddy Pimblett says he’s already back to 200 pounds.

UFC 278 countdown.

PFL Highlights.

Paddy Pimblett gives back to the kids.

On the next. Matches to do after UFC San Diego.

Farewell appreciation.



Din Thomas.

It does not matter. It’s a clear conflict, and in any other sport, someone in DC’s position would simply recuse themselves from the stand for the fight.

Bo Nickal (2-0) against Donovan Beard (7-1); Competitor Series, September 27.

Josh Fremd (9-3) against Tresean Gore (3-2); UFC Fight Night, October 29.

Derek Brunson (23-8) against Jack Hermansson (23-7); UFC Fight Night, December 3.

Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow.


If he wins on Saturday, will Rockhold get a title shot?

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