Costas Philippou first round knockout of Lorenz Larkin was more than simply a win; it was the difference between fighting again and retiring from the sport.
Following his victory on Saturday night, the longtime UFC middleweight revealed that he was contemplating retirement after going 0-2 in his last two fights - the first losing streak of his professional career.
"I reached a point where I was doubting myself," Philippou told MMAJunkie.com. "I was doubting if I still wanted to fight," Philippou said. "But I just want to thank Dana and the UFC for keeping faith. They gave me the co-main event and I'm still standing. I appreciate everything."
The bout against Rockhold was particularly disappointing for Philippou, who had never been knocked out in his career prior to that. The loss raised doubts about his career choice, and left him wondering if he should find another job.
"Did you watch my last fight (against Rockhold)? Do you blame me? Two fights ago, I spent 12 out of 15 minutes laying on my back (against Carmont) and it was an awful experience for myself and the fans, and I was embarrassed. I came back and my last fight was worse - I got knocked out for the first time in my life. I started wondering if I could keep doing what I was doing. I didn't know if I still had it in me."
In the end, Philippou credits his coaches for encouraging him to continue fighting and helping him through the trying period.
"But my coaches stayed by my side. They basically told me to put on my big-boy pants and go fight. I put in the work, they helped me out and it worked."