Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold went into battle for three rounds and Costa wiped the scorecards after three rounds. But Rockhold’s courageous performance, which may well be his last, won over the audience.
Battered and exhausted from the end of the first round, Rockhold stayed in the octagon as his body clearly wanted different, absorbing and firing Costa’s best shots, especially with a few expletives as Costa came closer for the kill in the third round.
Defiantly even in the closing seconds, Rockhold put the last of what he had – blood and lots of it – in top position as he rubbed his plasma across Costa’s face.
Afterwards, Rockhold, a former middleweight champion, admitted that his time had come after decades in the sport.
“I’m damn old,” he said.
Here’s what fighters had to say about the UFC 278 co-main.