Interview with Luke Rockhold above
Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-5) will return to the octagon this weekend at UFC 278, his first fight with the promotion since July 2019.
Rockhold will meet Paulo Costa in the co-main event at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, just before UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his championship belt against challenger Leon Edwards.
Ahead of the fight, Rockhold spoke with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri about a variety of topics to include claims to have best grappling in MMA, analyzing Costa, defensive deficiencies, and more. The former champion spoke about fighter pay issues but said that money is not a motivating factor for him, but believes that managers are part of the problem as to why fighter pay is a frequent issue in the company.
“You have managers that are in the pocket of the UFC that govern a massive umbrella of fighters,” told Mahjouri. “UFC uses these two or three managers, we all know who they are, that have a lot of key players in the game. Those fighters under their banner will never speak up against the UFC. That is the UFC’s monopoly, their mafioso tactics. No offense to the UFC, but offense…”
UFC 278 fight card
Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards – 170 lbs
Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold – 185 lbs
José Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili – 135 lbs
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov – 265 lbs
Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker – 205 lbs
Jared Gordon vs. Leonardo Santos – 155 lbs
Lucie Pudilová vs. Yanan Wu – 135 lbs
Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldaña – 145 lbs
Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young – 125 lbs
AJ Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa – 170 lbs
Amir Albazi vs. F. Figueiredo – 125 lbs
Aoriqileng vs. Jay Perrin – 135 lbs
Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel da Silva – 125 lbs
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