The two fighters used a bit of a feeling out process before Philippou took Rivera to the ground. Rivera looked to get back to his feet but was leaving his face open for Costantinos to land some heavy punches. Rivera looked tentative in the first round allowing his opponent to control the pace of the fight. Rivera finally landed a nice right hand to Philippou's eye. Slow first round for a fight that many expected to be nonstop action.
The round opened with both fighter trading punches. Costa dropped Rivera and was working to to finish the fight quickly. Mario Yamasaki was close to stopping the fight but Rivera was able to survive and gain dominant position. Rivera threw his own punches from the top when he had control. The fighters got back to their feet and traded in the clinch with Philippou landing the more significant strikes. Rivera got the takedown but Costa looked immediately for an omoplata. He used it to sweep to the top position and ended the round in dominant control.
Costa was the first to attack but Rivera landed the more significant strike with a knee to the body. A right hand stunned Philippou but RIvera was unable to take advantage. Costa got the fight to the ground but Rivera was threatening with a triangle. Rivera got back to his feet but was unable to use much offense. Philippou attempted a takedown but completely missed which allowed Rivera to get a front headlock and get the fight to the ground. Philippou was exhausted with just under a minute remaining but Jorge was unable to take advantage of it. The fight closes with Rivera attempting a trip but ending up on the bottom.
The judges score the fight for Constantinos Philippou with a split decision. Philippou picks up his first win in the UFC and is now 1-1 in the promotion. Tonight could be the last time that UFC fans see Jorge Rivera in the cage should the UFC cut him on this loss. Tonight was his 14th fight in the promotion and as Rivera told me, should he be cut by the UFC, he'll retire from MMA. If this was the last time we'll see Rivera, I would like to wish him the best of luck in future endeavors.