Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Constantinos Philippou defeated Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Constantinos Philippou used strong takedown defense and solid boxing to control the first 13 minutes of his UFC 148 fight with Riki Fukuda, but a brutal eyepoke nearly derailed things. Despite screaming in pain and taking some time to assess whether he could see, he was able to continue and finished the bout angry and fired up. It was a great performance from Philippou overall.
The fighters engaged in a long feeling-out process before Fukuda decided to shoot. He could only get Philippou down to his knees, but continued to grind away against the cage after Costa got back up. Back in the center, Philippou landed a few straight rights that caused some swelling over Fukuda's eye. Costa landed a nice combo and a head kick. Fukuda closed out the round with some kicks.
After some exchanges early in the second, Fukuda had a shot stuffed by Costa. Riki landed some good punches against the cage though. Costa landed a few more single rights while Fukuda went back to the leg kicks. Fukuda landed a kick that grazes the frank and beans, but Costa only took a few seconds to recover. Philippou stuffed two more of Fukuda's shots, and started to land his counterstrikes.
Philippou stuffed another shot to start the final round. Fukuda scooped up a single but got rebuffed once again. Costa slowed down a bit and looked a little gassed, but Fukuda couldn't take advantage of it. Fukuda landed a big body kick but a serious eye poke at the same time. Philippou was screaming in pain, even as the doctor was checking him. He continued on though, which was crazy. Fukuda immediately landed a groin shot which just served to piss Costa off even more. He screamed and came forward with a barrage of punches, then briefly looked for a guillotine. Both fighters finished strong.