Costas Philippou never had a chance to get started.
Luke Rockhold landed a pair of bodykicks that put him away early in the first round in the UFC Fight Night 35 main event.
Rockhold made a strong case to move up into the upper echelon of the UFC middleweight division and will likely get a top-5 opponent in his next bout.
The question was, could Philippou, a former boxer, keep the fight on the feet and land before Rockhold could take him to the ground.
We now have the answer, and Philippou is left to question what might have been.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 35: ROCKHOLD VS PHILIPPOU
COLE “MAGRINHO” MILLER VS SAM SICILIA
WINNER: COLE MILLER VIA SUBMISSION.
Wiseman: Versatility, that was what gave the fight to Miller. It wasn’t the reach advantage, though Miller used it well. It was simply Miller using his 1-2 combination, mixing up his kicks, and movement which allowed him to stay away from the KO power of Sicilia. Sicilia needed to close the distance to take away the reach advantage, but depending on his right hand allowed Miller to use his game plan to get the submission win.
#4 JOHN MORAGA VS #15 DUSTIN ORTIZ
WINNER: JOHN MORAGA VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Wiseman: A split-decision win for Moraga which is obviously questionable. Ortiz tried to use his wrestling and top-game dominance to limit Moraga, but Moraga showed submission setups and takedown defence. The power of Moraga also gave Ortiz a run for his money, so Ortiz really needed to do more when in top position rather then just be on top. Moraga scrambled when on his back and demonstrated his striking can keep anyone on their toes.
“SOLDIER OF GOD” YOEL ROMERO VS DEREK BRUNSON
WINNER: YOEL ROMERO VIA TKO.
Wiseman: While Brunson used distance on his side, it was ultimately the reserved cardio that allowed Romero to use ground-and-pound for the finish. Romero showed great wrestling against a strong wrestler, but the pounding power of Romero gave him the edge at the end of the fight for the TKO finish.
#6 TJ DILLASHAW VS #7 “THE HULK” MIKE EASTON
WINNER: TJ DILLASHAW VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: The striking of Dillashaw has evolved so much since TUF. His ability to fade right while swinging with a left, kicks, ability to dominate in the wrestling department, and his way to keep distance on his side gave him the decision win. Easton showed that he has a chin and can take a beating, but just didn’t have the tools to put away Dillashaw.
“THE MONSOON” LORENZ LARKIN VS BRAD TAVARES
WINNER: BRAD TAVARES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: Tavares keeping busy was his key to success. Larkin wasn’t able to get things going and never let his hands go like he needed. The power advantage was Larkin’s, but that doesn’t matter if he doesn’t throw combinations. Tavares kept up the pace that he set from the beginning of the fight and keep the pressure on Larkin for the decision win.
#6 LUKE ROCKHOLD VS #10 COSTAS PHILIPPOU
WINNER: LUKE ROCKHOLD VIA TKO.
Wiseman: The striking combinations of Rockhold was expected to be a problem for Costa, but it certainly wasn’t expected to take such a short period of time. Rockhold connected perfectly with back-to-back body kicks ended the fight before Costas even got started. Rockhold was very quick to call out Belfort after his win, but I don’t see him ready for that beast yet.