As part of the UFC 165 main card, #7 ranked middleweight, Constantinos Philippou took on TriStar gym product Francis Carmont. In a bout that showed massive improvements for Georges St. Pierre's teammate, Carmont impelmented a perfect game plan, constantly taking down and neutralizing the talented striker in Philippou.
Costa went on a 5-fight tear recently as he has beat other wrestlers in the past by employing a sprawl n' brawl-like strategy for the most part which earned him a spot at the top 10 rankings at middleweight. He was unable to do so this time though, with Carmont using his much improved wrestling by timing his shots really well and taking Philippou down with ease. He had a few rounds where the high level boxer mounted literally almost zero offense, and it led to a comfortable decision win for the French fighter. With the victory Carmont shakes up the middleweight rankings, and is now on an 11-fight winning streak, with 6 of those coming in the UFC.
The result: Francis Carmont def. Costa Philippou by Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
What was the high point?
Carmont's excellently timed takedowns. Rogan and Goldberg talked about his strength as he rag dolls a guy like Philippou, but what I was most impressed with was the timing at which he shot for those takedowns. He would throw lengthy jabs, and every time Costa motioned for a counter strike, Carmont was shooting in to finish those takedowns. Dana White may hate his game plan, but those were very fun to watch knowing that he is actually a pretty talented striker himself.
What was the low point?
The lulls on the ground. This is what upset Dana White and some of the fans in the audience, as while Carmont was dominant the entire time, he wasn't really able to land much damaging attacks.
Where do they go from here?
Carmont will now find himself in the top 10 of the division, where he is likely to get stiffer competition. I'm actually interested in seeing how he does against guys like Yushin Okami or Luke Rockhold (when he gets back from injury).
As for Costa, this loss stops the hype train and drops his stock a bit, but there are other fresh match ups available for him. I'd like to see him against Rafael Natal.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Later. A new contender enters the top 10 and while it is interesting to see Carmont evolve as a mixed martial artist, you definitely won't lose sleep by missing out on this fight.
SBN coverage of UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson