Costantinos Philippou and Riki Fukuda face off during the UFC 148 weigh-ins at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Friday, July, 6, 2012. <em>(Image via Esther Lin of <a href="http://www.mmafighting.com/ufc/2012/7/6/3142325/ufc-148-weigh-in-photos#3529879" target="new">MMA Fighting)</a></em>
The first televised fight is indicative of the card in general - a deceptively solid matchup. On one side of the you have a heavy-handed Cypriot from Long Island. On the other side you have a steady Japanese fighters that defies stereotypes. Constantinos Philippou (10-2, 1 NC, 3-1 UFC) meets Riki Fukuda (18-5, 1-1 UFC)
Neither man is ranked at middleweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, but Costa is sitting just off it at number 27. If Fukuda didn't get robbed against Nick Ring, people would probably be higher on him as well. A win by either men should earn them strong consideration for the illustrious list. This middleweight UFC 148 bout is the third fight on the card, and the second that will air on FX. The FX broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Philippou: 32 years old | 5'11" | 73" reach Fukuda: 31 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Constantinos "Costa" Philippou is a Serra-Longo product that lost his qualifying fight for TUF 11, but still managed to get to the UFC on his own accord. He debuted as a late replacement in a 195 lb. bout against Nick Catone nd got decisioned, but has looked excellent since. He's picked up three straight wins over Jorge Rivera, Jared Hamman, and TUF 11 winner Court McGee.
Riki Fukuda is a veteran of the Japanese independent scene, where he competed for organizations such as DEEP, Shooto, and Pancrase. His biggest win came at Dream 8 when he stepped in as a late replacement and defeated Murilo Rua. He signed with the UFC and met Nick Ring at UFC 127. Fukuda controlled the fight, but lost a very controversial decision. Most people, including Dana White, still consider that bout a win for Fukuda. After a year on the sidelines, he came back at UFC 144 and picked up a decision win over Steve Cantwell.
Why should you care?
It's an interesting style matchup. If Costa can force Fukuda to stand with him, he can probably get the best of him. But can he keep it on the feet? Can he stay out of the clinch?
You can catch more UFC 148preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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