The fight between former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and former UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa at UFC 278 was bizarre in many ways. There was no more bizarre moment than in the third round, as the fight was drawing near an end, and the two were on the ground with Rockhold on top of Costa, fighting for position, and smearing his own blood onto his opponent’s face.
Costa would go on to defeat Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three judge’s scorecards, and Rockhold would retire from competition following the loss. In the blood-smearing moment that captivated the audience and was topic of conversation following, the former UFC champion didn’t mince words on Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Rockhold was asked about the moment in which he decided to smear his blood on Costa and his answer was pretty harsh towards his opponent. He would go on to say that he felt that Costa was point fighting to a decision while he was looking to get the statement finish in their fight.
“Honestly, just f**k you. That dude was just talking back-and-forth and you know when someone is point fighting and someone’s going for the kill, there’s a difference. I felt like I was there to kill or be killed and he was out there trying to get by. If more time exists, I rushed it, I should’ve had the mount position, it would’ve been over. You know how that world works, I just rushed into that one, fell behind and kept putting myself behind and having to dig myself back up.”
Knowing that he was rushing to try and comeback and get the victory over Costa, Rockhold unleashed some cruel words towards his most recent opponent and ultimately why he chose to smear his blood across Costa’s face. However, with the fight now over, the former champion said there’s no animosity towards Costa.
“I just felt like I was in there with a lesser man and I just wanted to show him, you’re my bitch. There’s no animosity, I just don’t think much of him as a person. I don’t think that fight, him getting his hand raised, tells the tale of who we are. I think people can see who I am at least. I’ll take it.”
There appears to be no love lost between Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa, and as the former champion heads off into the sunset to pursue other career avenues, he will forever leave a lasting memory for his blood smearing at UFC 278.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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