Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will return to the Octagon next Saturday after a three-year layoff. At least that’s the plan as long as there aren’t any surprises ahead of UFC 278.
Rockhold is currently paired up against contender Paulo Costa, but the Brazilian has developed a reputation lately for being an unpredictable fighter—especially when it comes to making weight. Rockhold is hoping that his opponent hits the middleweight mark properly this time around. In an conversation with Ag Fight, the former champion made it clear that he wants a fair fight and is not willing to go too much over the limit just to make this easier for ‘Borrachinha’.
“Of course (Costa’s weight concerns me). The UFC guaranteed that he wanted this fight to be at middleweight and they would watch over his cut during the whole process. Guys who don’t make weight show weakness. They do it to get an advantage. They’re either weak or trying to get an advantage, because they’re scared. The same thing happened with Yoel Romero. He didn’t make weight to try and get an advantage over me. I’m not here for those kinds of fights anymore. I’m here for a fair battlefield, as fair as possible.”
“I hope Paulo makes weight.” Luke said. “If there’s a problem during this fight week, I should be informed. I’ve always said during my training camp that the highest I’ll go is 190 pounds. I’m trying to show that I’m here to fight for the belt at middleweight. No bullsh-t, but I want to know that we’ll both make weight. I hope so. I’m here to make weight, I’m here to fight, I’m here to conquer.”
Currently on a two-fight losing skid, Rockhold (16-5) suffered a knockout loss to then future champion Jan Blachowicz back in July 2019, when he tried a move to the light heavyweight division. Before that, the 37-year-old suffered a KO at the hands of Yoel Romero, in February 2018. The longtime AKA talent’s latest win dates back to September 2017, when he defeated David Branch via TKO.
UFC 278 is set to take place on August 20, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alongside the middleweight co-main event, the card is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch for the welterweight title between the champion, Kamaru Usman, and challenger Leon Edwards.