The 1 fighter at risk of getting cut after a UFC 278 loss

Despite his illustrious MMA resume, 37-year-old former champ Luke Rockhold is reaching the twilight of his UFC career.

On July 24, 2007, Luke Rockhold made his professional debut in the now-defunct Melee on the Mountain promotion. After winning two minutes into the first round, it was apparent Rockhold had a future in mixed martial arts.

Four years later, Rockhold had managed to climb his way up the Strikeforce middleweight ladder to win his first title fight against Ronaldo Souza. He went on to defend his title twice against Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy before Strikeforce was absorbed by Zuffa and sent its top talents to the UFC.

After losing his UFC debut to Vitor Belfort in 2013, Rockhold would go on to make a stunning five-fight run to the title, beating the likes of Michael Bisping and Lyoto Machida before defeating Chris Weidman to claim UFC middleweight gold.

After numerous layoffs and injuries, a loss at UFC 278 could likely be the final fight of Rockhold’s UFC career.

In his first title defense, Rockhold lost his belt to Bisping via a first-round knockout. After that loss in 2016, Rockhold would fight three more times over the course of three years, losing twice to Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz.

At UFC 278, Rockhold (16-5) will make his way back to the octagon after over three years. He faces a dangerous opponent in Paulo Costa (13-2), who is a -400 favorite in this middleweight bout.

If his fight at UFC 278 is his last, Rockhold is not short on career options. He is a professional model who has appeared at New York Fashion Week and was the face of Ralph Lauren’s “Polo Blue” fragrance. He has also been a prevalent figure in pop culture, having dated Grammy-nominated singer/actress Demi Lovato while previously being a guest on the reality show “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”

Tune into ESPN and ESPN+ for the pay-per-view on Saturday, Aug. 20, to watch the outcome at UFC 278.

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.

Published at Fri, 19 Aug 2022 02:27:09 +0000