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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Segura and Ken Hathaway

Paulo Costa expects to finish UFC contract with quick stoppage over Luke Rockhold

SALT LAKE CITY – Paulo Costa says he’s on the verge of fighting out his UFC contract.

The former UFC middleweight title challenger revealed on Wednesday that he enters Saturday’s co-main event bout against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 with one fight left on his UFC deal. Ahead of an important moment in his career, Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) can’t say for certain if he’ll re-sign with the promotion he has fought with since 2017.

“Let’s see, we need to talk (with the UFC),” Costa told reporters at the UFC 278 media day. “It’s just business. It’s business for me, and we need to talk.”

What the Brazilian can say for certain, is that he believes he’s got what it takes to get Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) out of the octagon quickly.

“I prepare for a war, but I really don’t believe he can hang with me,” Costa said. “I think this fight will finish quickly, but I don’t care. If he could, in some way, hold (his own) and bring a war, I’m ready.”

Costa believes his power is an advantage in this fight and plans to see if the former champion’s chin can hold up.

“I don’t know if I need to hurt him on the very beginning of the fight, but his chin will be tested,” Costa said. “I have no doubt about that.”

Costa hasn’t competed since October 2021 when he suffered a decision loss to Marvin Vettori. The 31-year-old is on a two-fight losing streak, having lost to Israel Adesanya in a championship bout back in September 2020.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 278.

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