Luke Rockhold sounds off on a ‘lot of things that need to change’ before UFC 278 (video)

Luke Rockhold returns to the UFC after two years with a lot to get off his chest.

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards are heading toward a second showdown as UFC 278 approaches. Usman picked up the first victory back 2015, but both men have improved since then and now the welterweight championship is on the line. They will be joined on the card by a former UFC champion in Luke Rockhold, a man who has been very vocal about all things business when it comes to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“It feels right,” Rockhold said when questioned about his return at the media day. “It’s been a while.  I want to go out there and do this thing right.”

Rockhold is returning to the sport after a two-year absence from competition. He was last seen in 2019 at UFC 239 where he ran into Jan Blachowicz as he was making his push toward the UFC light heavyweight championship. That brought his struggles to 1-3 in his last four in the Octagon, including the stunning upset to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 where he lost the UFC middleweight championship.

Even with those issues in the cage, that hasn’t stopped Rockhold from making his feelings about UFC business practices very clear.

“The leverage game is all business, anywhere you go, it’s not just the UFC, it’s a bigger stronger mafia here for sure,” Rockhold said. “Everything I’m saying is truthful. There are a lot of things that need to change. My health hasn’t been taken care of. I just want to see a better culture.”

Rockhold welcomes the challenge in Paulo Costa

“I’m fighting a beast,” Rockhold said. “I wanted a guy that scares me. It gets me up in the morning and it fuels me. I like this opponent a lot. It puts me right back in the heat of it.”

Paulo Costa is riding his own two-fight losing streak, dropping bouts to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori. Before those bouts he was riding a wave of momentum as an undefeated champion and violent knockout artist. Overall, Costa will bring a 13-2 record into the fight at UFC 278.

“He is not able to deal with adversity,” Rockhold said. “The first loss was one thing and he used weight as a weakness. He’s a weak-minded [expletive]. Now the real man shows up.”

UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards takes place on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, live from the Vivint Arena, in Salt Lake City, UT. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on site, for all your news and highlights.

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