In the main event of Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 35 out of Duluth, GA, middleweight Luke Rockhold (11-2) finished Constantinos Philippou (12-4, 1 NC) just two and a half minutes into the first round of their fight. Rockhold moved up to 1-1 in the UFC, recovering from a KO loss to Vitor Belfort in his promotional debut. Philippou is now on the first two-fight losing streak of his MMA career and fell to 5-3 inside the Octagon.
Rockhold caught Costa early with a hook, but Philippou was able to recover and land a shot of his own. He didn't last long after that when Luke landed a big kick to the body that took the wind out of him. Rockhold followed immediately with another body kick that sent Philippou to the mat and a final kick to the body forced the stoppage at 2:31.
What was the high point of the fight?
It may be just me, but body shot finishes are one of the best things in this sport. You definitely want to check out how Rockhold put the stamp on this one.
Rockhold: Bisping 'needs to pay' for comments
After defeating Costa Philippou on Wednesday, Luke Rockhold addressed Michael Bisping's comments from 2012, saying they were in 'bad taste' and that he wants to face Bisping in the Octagon
Where do they go from here?
This was a much needed win for Rockhold. The loss to Belfort hurt his stock in the division, but this performance reassured his position as a top 185 lber. In his post-fight speech and on twitter he called out Michael Bisping, as has the rest of the middleweight division. Bisping still has to get medical clearance to fight, but assuming that goes well and he wants it I'd say the fight makes sense for both.
After giving up his last two fights, Philippou probably just fell out of the top 10. He's a talented fighter, but his offensive limitations are going to keep him behind the elite of the division. If Bisping does choose to fight Rockhold, I'd like to see Costas against Tim Kennedy who has also been campaigning for a fight against "The Count."
Watch it now, later, or never?
A fantastic performance from Rockhold with real relevance to the top of the middleweight division. Go ahead and watch it now.