UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva - Costas Philippou vs. Lorenz Larkin preview and prognostication

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

The middleweight division showcases its talented strikers with Costas Philippou against Lorenz Larkin in a bout that promises bipedal fireworks for UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva.

Costas Philippou vs. Lorenz Larkin Middleweight

Finally, the co main event!

Hooray! And with a combined record of 0-3 in their last three!

Good lord.

Both men are fine fighters, and I'll get to the part where I drool over the awesome clash of styles, but for now, let's face it. As a co main, it's dreadful. Lorenz Larkin is coming off a loss to Brad Tavares, while Costas Philippou, who I continue to add an extra 'l' to which frustrates the hell out of me, recently lost to Luke Rockhold and Francis Carmont. His fight with Tim Boetsch before that wasn't all that impressive either when you consider that the bout swung in his favor once Tim's eyeballs became crash test dummies for a bowling ball grip.

As for Larkin, like my memory of his performances after the fact, his soul disappeared with the judges' decision in the Carmont fight.

You're not feeling this glorified kickboxing match are you?

Not really. But it has less to do with the fight, and more to do with PK Subban losing to the Bruins just right now.

It could have been worse. It could have been a lot worse.[/Jerry Jones]

Fair enough.

So anyway, this fight is an awesome stylistic matchup. My lone worry is that Larkin hasn't been the offensive juggernaut he looked to be coming into the UFC.

Although that was always a tad smoke and mirrors. Larkin was destroyed by Lawal, and isn't what I'd describe as a real power puncher. He possesses beautiful combinations, and searing leg kicks, but not the pinpoint accuracy that would net him more TKO/KO wins. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, but he's become increasingly timid. I just don't see the same fighter that beat Robbie Lawler in the bouts with Tavares and Camozzi.

Philippou is a +205 in some places. Seems crazy good right?

It's hard to say. Tavares is a guy I feel is fairly underrated with a real nose for the sport. Philippou is engineered for one thing: landing that one big punch.

In addition, there's that amusing stigma when it comes to getting knocked out with a strike to the body. It never looks good because it looks so subjective. Naturally, I'm not criticizing Costas for getting his liver shaken. The closest I've come to being winded is crashing into too many Planet K regulars at a Tool concert. I'm just saying that he didn't look that impressive against Rockhold, small sample size be damned.

So what's the prognostication?

MMAth doesn't help out too much. After all, Larkin beat Carmont whereas Costas lost a predictable decision. But they were drastically different fights. Carmont was able to get the fight to the ground, whereas he couldn't get anything going except a lot of fence friction.

I favor Larkin. Costas has got raw power, but Larkin won't be intimidated by Costas' plodding style. Sometimes losses are a matter of strategy.

I felt like Larkin really beat himself against Tavares. He didn't pressure Brad until the third round, which is when he really started to take over the fight, as in too little too late.

Philippou had a nice run, but I don't think his wins were all that impressive. I mean Jorge Rivera, Jared Hamman, Court McGee, Riki Fukuda are the names that stand out because those were the names he truly beat.

Yea but you can lawyer analyze any fighter's win streak.

I've never been convinced Costas was anything more than a journeyman. The fight with Rivera was dreadful. Plus let's look at the difference in striking. Larkin does such a good job of staying centered and avoiding the ground because he snaps his kicks, and is constantly squared up with his opponent. Costas is often billed as a go-getter type on the feet, but like Larkin, he's not that type of pitbull.

Prediction: Lorenz Larkin by Decision.

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