Paulo Costa was weirded out by Luke Rockhold smearing blood on his face in the final moments of their fight at UFC 278.
Costa wasn’t sure what Rockhold was doing at first but was grossed out once he realized the latter was rubbing blood all over his face and mouth in a last-ditch effort to turn the fight in his favor after reversing ‘Borrachinha’ in the third round.
“I didn’t see it in the moment of the fight,” Costa, who won the fight via unanimous decision, said at the post-fight press conference (h/t MMA Fighting). “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.”
“I saw the moment where [Yoel] Romero kisses [Rockhold] after beating him, as well,” he added. “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.”
It was certainly a fitting end to one of the weirdest, bloodiest, and most unpredictable fights in recent memory as both men battled to the brink of exhaustion roughly 1290 meters above sea level at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena.
Rockhold announced his retirement in the post-fight interview, telling UFC commentator and podcast host Joe Rogan that he is too ‘f-cking old’ to continue fighting.
The win saw Costa snap a two-fight losing skid to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, with the Brazilian seemingly reinvigorated and ready to embark on a new chapter in his career after completing the last fight on his current deal. He is currently #6 in the UFC middleweight rankings.