clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Morning Report: Daniel Cormier doesn’t understand Luke Rockhold’s latest callout: ‘[Paulo Costa] still looked pretty good’ last fight

UFC 194: Weidman vs. Rockhold Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

On Dec. 12, 2015, Luke Rockhold made a dream a reality by capturing the UFC middleweight title in a highly anticipated meeting with then-champion Chris Weidman. The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product had already been a titleholder in Strikeforce, but how much UFC gold meant to him was evident as the emotions ran wild as soon as Herb Dean called off the action in round four.

Alongside Rockhold throughout his journey was a fellow former Strikeforce champion in Daniel Cormier, who went on to do great things of his own in the UFC. As part of Rockhold’s corner that night, both men were able to celebrate in the immediate aftermath prior to Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor closing the show.

From a competitive standpoint, Rockhold has unfortunately taken a bit of a tumble since as he lost the belt in his first title defense to Michael Bisping and is 1-3 in his last four — all three losses coming by knockout.

Rockhold last fought at UFC 239 in July 2019 when making his light heavyweight debut against future champion Jan Blachowicz. At UFC 268 in Nov. 2021, the 37-year-old was to make his return back at his primary home of middleweight opposite the surging Sean Strickland. However, the injury bug struck once again and he was forced to withdraw.

Still planning to return, Rockhold is targeting June for a bout with former title challenger Paulo Costa. Thus leaving his ex-teammate in Cormier curious as to why.

“I don’t quite understand why he wants that fight so bad,” Cormier said on the DC & RC podcast. “I don’t know what Luke has seen in Paulo Costa over the course of his last few fights that makes him want that fight so much. Is it a winnable fight? Absolutely. But is there a lot of danger in that fight? Absolutely. Because we’ve seen Paulo Costa at his best and even when he saw him lose his last fight at 205 [pounds], he still looked pretty good, he was in the fight. So I don’t know what Luke saw in that fight that makes me want him. I support the guy, and I’ll support the guy until the wheels fall off.”

Costa started his career off red-hot with 13 straight wins before finally falling to Israel Adesanya in their heated title tilt at UFC 253 in Sept. 2020. The Brazilian brawler has only fought once since his second-round TKO loss to “The Last Stylebender” and that came in Oct. 2021 when he went through a dramatic weight missing saga the week of his bout with Marvin Vettori. Costa ultimately lost a unanimous decision despite Vettori playing by his rules and moving up for an impromptu light heavyweight clash.

While “DC” may be a little perplexed by the interest from his long-time friend, Rockhold did recently explain his reasoning when speaking to Submission Radio.

“It’s a guy that I don’t like, and I think disrespects the sport and motivates me to f*cking correct it,” Rockhold said. “It’s a guy that’s obviously top-ranked somehow, someway, when he can’t even make weight. So, typically if anything he should be ranked in the 205-pound division, right? I just don’t care for the guy. I tell you that, I don’t care for the guy. And I think it’s a fun fight. I think I can go show him the door...

“I don’t hate it, I don’t hate it. Obviously, it’s about selling tickets. And if you can go out there and put a statement and a staple on the fight on a big top-five fight, it speaks volumes. So, I like it. Going in there and making a statement can put me in a very nice little spot.”


TOP STORIES

Badass. Austin Vanderford wants to prove that Paige VanZant’s husband is a pretty cool guy at Bellator 275.

Play. BKFC President Dave Feldman admits interest in bringing over UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Attack. MMA fighters attempt to flee Russia hours after the attack on Ukraine.

Confidence. Leon Edwards’ manager believes the Kamaru Usman title fight rematch will be next.

$$$. KSW double champion Roberto Soldic not planning to leave his promotion if he likes their offer ahead of free agency.


VIDEO STEW

Between the Links.

The Bisping doc trailer.

Jorge Masvidal gets personal.

UFC Destined.

Fastest finishes by division in UFC history.


LISTEN UP

We Got Next. Gegard Mousasi and Terrance McKinney chat with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

“Bones” reacts.

Cryptic Diaz

Fitz to Bisping.

Luke Rockhold training.

The Bobby Green collection.

The gogoplata.

Zombie Leben.

Cejudo’s top 5.

David Onama gives an update.

Not so sweet dreams.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ludovit Klein (17-4) vs. Devonte Smith (11-3); UFC 272, Mar. 5

Andre Fialho (14-4) vs. Miguel Baeza (10-2); UFC Vegas 51, Apr. 16

Charles Jourdain (12-4-1) vs. Lando Vannata (12-5-2); UFC Vegas 52, Apr. 23

Journey Newson (9-3) vs. Fernie Garcia (10-1); UFC 274, May 7

Brandon Royval (13-6) vs. Matt Schnell (15-6); UFC 274, May 7

Joseph Holmes (7-2) vs. Alen Amedovski (8-2); UFC Fight Night, May 21

Ode Osbourne (10-4) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (4-3); UFC Fight Night, June 4

Jeff Molina (10-2) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-6); UFC Fight Night, June 4


FINAL THOUGHTS

GSP is the G.O.A.T. Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

Poll

Is Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold the fight to make?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Yes
    (381 votes)
  • 45%
    No
    (316 votes)
697 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.