Luke Rockhold sees Paulo Costa as a very likely option for his UFC comeback.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the former UFC Middleweight Champion in action. He’d step away from the Octagon after being knocked out by Jan Blachowicz in 2019. Three years later, Rockhold is looking to rock on, hoping for a June return.
He was originally booked against Sean Strickland but that didn’t pan out, due to an injury from Rockhold.
‘A Very Viable Option’
Rockhold has his eyes on top contender Paulo Costa in his first fight in years. However, his ‘terms’ must be met first.
“(Costa is) an option,” Rockhold told Submission Radio. “It’s a very viable option. So, as long as terms are met, you know, we could have a dance.
“I’m not here to fight f*cking cheaters. So, if the weight is met, unless too much wine is consumed, you never know. Weight has to be met, weight has to be met. There’s too many f*cking weak-ass people trying to get advantages upon the game. And I’ve lost, I’ve killed myself to make weight and do things right. And can’t say the same for the rest of them.”
When it comes to ‘cheaters’, Rockhold is likely talking about Yoel Romero and others who came in overweight for their fight against him. Romero, weighing above the weight limit, would ultimately KO Rockhold back in 2018.
The former UFC Champ has learned from his past mistakes. He’s not taking any chances with Costa, who couldn’t make 185lbs or even 195lbs last time out against Marvin Vettori.
“I ain’t going to do that again. I ain’t going to do that again and fight a guy that misses weight purposely to gain an advantage. F*ck no.”
“There has to be fair play. We’re fighting. We’re not like playing anything else, we’re fighting. So, fair play is necessary. And at this stage of my career, I ain’t willing to fucken risk anything but fair play. Because I do it right, I always have done it right, and it’s gotta be done right.”
Rockhold Explains Why He Wants To Fight Costa
Why does Rockhold want to fight Costa so bad? Well, there’s a few reasons, he’d reveal.
“It’s a guy that I don’t like, and I think disrespects the sport and motivates me to f*cking correct it,” Rockhold explained. “It’s a guy that’s obviously top-ranked somehow, some way, when he can’t even make weight. So, typically if anything he should be ranked in the 205-pound division, right? I just don’t care for the guy. I tell you that, I don’t care for the guy. And I think it’s a fun fight. I think I can go show him the door. I think you have a guy that f*cking wants to make excuses on wine and weight, and his liver is obviously affected, so let’s go f*cking, let’s go munch on it.”
“There’s a distance game I can play. There’s a lot to it. I think the guy, he’s like a duck. He can f*cking swim, he can fly, but he can’t do anything great.”
Luke Rockhold is looking to make a statement in his return, and if it’s against a on-weight Paulo Costa… perfect. It’d put Rockhold in a ‘very nice little spot’.
“I don’t hate it, I don’t hate it. Obviously it’s about selling tickets. And if you can go out there and put a statement and a staple on the fight on a big top five fight, it speaks volumes. So, I like it. Going in there and making a statement can put me in a very nice little spot.”