UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 took place August 30 at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Paulo Costa (14-2) and former UFC champion Luke Rockhold (16-6) collided in a key middleweight fight. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Costa vs. Rockhold, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Such an attractive matchup here. Costa comes out quickly in orthodox, while Rockhold is in southpaw. Rockhold showing lots of kicks early. Costa throwing the hands.
Rockhold lands a body kick and Costa swings a big shot. Rockhold shoots on a double but Costa might have hurt him with a punch and he’s sprawling. Shots from the sprawl by Costa. Rockhold gets up but Costa putting the pressure on.
Cost has Rockhold against the fence and unloads and Rockhold looks wary but Costa grabs a clinch and takes Rockhold down. That is surprising. He’s getting some elbows going and now he’s posturing up.
Rockhold controls posture but he’s getting overwhelmed right now. Costa in top half guard and lands a big elbow to the ribs. Costa now moves to mount but Rockhold uses it to get up. Cost pressures down but Rockhold goes for a guillotine. Costa defends and he’s back in top half. He is taking some breaths right now but he’s hammering body shots into Rockhold and moves to mount. Costa looking very good from top position.
Rockhold explodes and sneaks out the back door and now he’s up and they’re at space. Rockhold looking a little worse for wear but both men taking deep breaths.
Rockhold goes with a front kick. And another. Body kick. And another. And another. He’s rifling them in and Costa beckons him on. Rockhold taking deep breaths though as his mouth is pouring blood.
Costa gets a clinch and both men holding along the cage. Costa goes for a takedown but Rockhold defends and they’re at space and Rockhold lands another big body kick. Costa walking through them. Rockhold lands a big left hand. Costa shakes it off and the round ends. Rockhold immediately puts his hands on his knees. Both men look very, very tired.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Costa.
Both men breathing heavily but Rockhold looks to be in worse shape. But he comes out firing and lands some big shots and gets Costa to the fence. He shoots a double and gets a takedown but he rushes it and Costa is up and he’s got Rockhold against the fence now.
Rockhold looks beat to hell and Costa attacking now. Lands to the body. Big left hook from Costa lands. Costa winded and pressuring. Rockhold firing back. Costa lands a body kick. And a left hook to the body.
Spinning kick from Rockhold lands to the body. Tornado kick from Rockhold lands! Costa eats it. Rockhold lands a left hand that stuns Costa! Costa comes back Rockhold is so exhausted. Costa pressuring and winging the right hand.
Head kick from Costa lands but Rockhold lands a good right hand of his own. Rockhold puts his hands on his knees! Costa has to feel okay about that. Costa still pressuring. Rockhold pokes Costa in the eye and a brief break before the resume. Rockhold has no gas. But he lands a body kick. And goes high.
Costa still pressuring. Rockhold still kicking. Costa misses a wheel kick but then lands a massive right uppercut low that drops Rockhold! Beltran stops the bout and Rockhold now has five minutes to recover. Costa thought he won the fight. Now he’s sitting down. Both men tired. Rockhold raises his hands to the crowd and gets a big cheer. Beltran telling Rockhold to take his time. He damn sure should.
Rockhold says he’s ready and Costa comes out with the pressure. Rockhold throws some kicks. He does appear to have gotten a second wind. Costa kicks, Rockhold spinning back fist misses. Rockhold now advancing though. Misses a spinning back kick. Costa lands a big low kick. Costa goes to the body with the right hand.
30 seconds left and Costa now advancing at will. Lands a big body shot. Rockhold pressures back but he’s tired again. Costa coming at him to close the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Costa, 20-18 Costa overall.
Rockhold most likely needs a finish to win and to do that, he probably needs a takedown. It can happen but it’s going to require miles and miles of heart. And that’s basically what his corner says. It’s gut check time. Who wants it more?
Both men look so gassed to start the third. Costa advances and he’s got Rockhold against the fence and he’s unloading. Rockhold hurts Costa with a right hook as he spins and Rockhold gets on top but he gets sloppy and Costa pushes him off and he’s up. That was the chance for Rockhold!
Costa advancing and he lands a big right that has Rockhold hurt. Rockhold lands a big left of his own though that backs Costa up. He comes back though and lands a big left jab. Rockhold swings and misses. Costa with pressure and a right hand. And another.
Rockhold gets mad and swings a left hook that stuns Costa! He can’t follow it up though and Costa comes back. Rockhold bangs him again but Costa is so durable. Rockhold getting angry and yelling. He shoots a double and Costa sprawls and spins to the back. Rockhold rolls to his back and Costa is in side control. Horrible mistake. Costa can ride the round out here and he was having a lot of success on the feet in that round.
Costa holding position now. He advances to mount after some work. Well, 3/4 mount. Rockhold has nothing anymore and Rockhold gives up his back. Costa gets the backpack and Rockhold is just looking to survive to the end. He’s bleeding a ton and saying “F*** you” while Costa is on his back.
Rockhold is trying to turn into Costa but he has nothing at this point. Costa holding on for the remainder of the round. Rockhold is able to spin but he only has 22 seconds!
Rockhold rubbing his blood into Costa’s face while the crowd goes insane. Costa holding on for dear life and we make it to the final buzzer. Hell of a fight.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Costa, 30-27 Costa overall.