In the co-main event of UFC 278, which will take place on Saturday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will take on Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). After the preliminary bouts have been shown on ABC/ESPN and the early rounds have been shown on ESPN+, the main card will be shown on pay-per-view.
After having problems making the middleweight mark, Costa fought his most recent bout against Marvin Vettori at 205 pounds at UFC Fight Night 196. The fight took place because the Brazilian had trouble making the middleweight threshold. Rockhold believes that Costa’s failure to manage everything was a sign of weakness, which contributed to the loss of the fight, which was decided by unanimous decision.
“Adversity makes a man,” Rockhold told reporters.
“He has not been able to deal with adversity. It’s only getting worse. We’ll see who the man (is who) shows up. This is the real test. The first loss is one thing, and he used weight as a weakness. That’s what he did. He missed weight. He tried to pull the 10 pounds up, and he didn’t use that. That is an advantage he’s trying to seek because he is a f*cking weak-minded motherf*cker. But now the real test is here.”
“He’s a man that fights out of emotion and intimidation. If you give him that, he’ll run with it. I’m a dangerous striker from the outside. He’s got to cross that line. He’s got to get to the inside. He’s got to get at me. With that being said, if you cross that line, you misstep, you slip, you fall – wrestling and grappling and all these things, there’s a big f*cking gap between me and him, and if he misses that step, this game is over.”
“Yeah, 100 percent (I’m too dangerous),” Rockhold said. “You saw the recipe with what Israel (Adesanya) did. It’s not forcing the issue, though, like I’ve done in the past – is trying the false sense of confidence, like trying to intimidate right off the bat. Dominick Cruz went in, right off the bat he tried to come off (against Marlon Vera), and it’s not him. He showed weakness, and ‘Chito,’ you knew he was in his head already. So assessing and attacking at the right time, but you’ve got to show that man you’re the bigger man. Like I said – adversity, he does not know how to deal with it.