Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold UFC Betting: Odds Favoring Costa KO/TKO Victory

Devon Platana

UFC 278 takes over Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Aug. 20. The pay-per-view event has several intriguing bouts to look forward to, including the middleweight co-main event as former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold (16-5) takes on Paulo Costa (13-2).

This fight means different things for both men. On one hand, a victory would bring the No. 6-ranked Costa one step closer to his second-ever middleweight championship opportunity. On the other, this matchup also marks Rockhold’s return to the octagon for the first time in three years.

There’s a lot to take into account ahead of the UFC 278 co-main event, but Betting News has you covered. Here is a look at the latest Costa vs. Rockhold odds from various sportsbooks before the duo collide on Saturday.

UFC 278: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold Fight Odds (as of Saturday, August 20 at 11:45 a.m.)

Odds are via our top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks.

FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Paulo Costa -355
  • Luke Rockhold +270

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Paulo Costa -400
  • Luke Rockhold +310

BetRivers

  • Paulo Costa -360
  • Luke Rockhold +275

BetMGM

  • Paulo Costa -350
  • Luke Rockhold +260

Rockhold Favored to Lose Return to Costa

A slew of injuries has held Rockhold out of the octagon for just over three years. The former middleweight champion was making quite a name for himself before being put on the shelf. Now, he makes his highly-anticipated return at UFC 278.

Unfortunately, things don’t project well for the 37-year-old in Salt Lake City. Rockhold is the clear-cut underdog across the board, with his best odds sitting at +250 on FanDuel Sportsbook. In other words, that’s an implied probability of just 28.6% when it comes to him potentially beating Costa.

It isn’t hard to see why Rockhold is the underdog, though. He was on quite the skid before his hiatus, losing three of his last four fights — including when he lost the UFC Middleweight Championship to Michael Bisping.

Making matters worse, each of those losses came by KO.

Can Luke Rockhold (left) pull off the upset in his return at UFC 278?

Meanwhile, Costa enters UFC 278 coming off of back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. “The Eraser” was 13-0 when he challenged Israel Adesanya for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 253, only to be knocked out. He then made his light heavyweight debut last October but lost to Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision.

Nevertheless, Costa has been in the cage a lot more recently than his opponent. The fact that Rockhold kept getting knocked out in his most recent fights is also promising for the 31-year-old Brazilian, who’s won 11 fights by KO/TKO.

At the end of the day, this is an extremely tough test for Rockhold in his return. Yes, Costa is in a bit of a slump, but his only middleweight loss was to Adesanya, who’s been virtually unstoppable.

Unless Rockhold looks as he did when he was champion right off the bat, it could be a long night for the former World Jiu-Jitsu Champion.

UFC 278 Betting Markets & Trends for Costa vs. Rockhold

As usual, FanDuel Sportsbook has UFC 278 markets that let fans wager on more than just the moneyline. In fact, these markets can even give you an idea of how Costa vs. Rockhold might unfold.

When it comes to method of victory, Costa is favored at -160 to win by KO/TKO. Again, that’s unsurprising given that he’s 11-1 when his fights are decided by knockout, whereas Rockhold is 6-5 in that same scenario.

Speaking of Rockhold, his top method of victory is to win by decision at +550. He’s won his two fights that have ever gone the distance, however, FanDuel is favoring that the fight won’t head to the judges’ table at -330.

For more value, method & round combo betting is worth looking into. As it stands, Costa is favored to end the title by knockout in the first round at +220. Of his 11 career knockouts, eight of them occurred in Round 1.

Costa vs. Rockhold Fight Prediction

As great as it will be to see Rockhold back in a UFC octagon, he’s going up against a top-six middleweight. Costa is no slouch and is hungry to bounce back after his last losses. With how dominant he was before, it’s hard imagining the former champion pulling off the upset.

Keeping that in mind, I’m going with Costa winning by KO/TKO in Round 1 at +220 as the best bet here. I don’t think Rockhold is ready to go the distance just yet and given that he was knocked out three times in his last four outings, history could easily repeat itself.

UFC 278 Event Details

When is UFC 278?

UFC 278 will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.

Where is UFC 278?

UFC 278 will take place at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What time does UFC 278 start?

  • UFC 278 Early Prelims Start Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • UFC 278 Prelims Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Start Time of UFC 278’s Main Card: 10 p.m. ET

How can I watch UFC 278?

The early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims will be available on both ESPN and ESPN+, and the main card will be available via pay-per-view (which can be ordered through the ESPN+ app).

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Devon Platana
Devon Platana