Over all, the UFC Fight Night 35 delivered an action packed card last night in Duluth, Georgia. Despite no big names, the fights delivered. The main event was at Middleweight, as Luke Rockhold faced off against Costas Philippou in a match he Rockhold won in the opening round with a kick to the body that dropped the sturdy Philippou and put an end to the contest. Surely, a top 5 opponent awaits Rockhold in his next outing.
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For Philippou, it is a second loss in a row, and a loss in status for a guy who just last year was considered one of the division’s dangerous up and comers. What is worse for the New York product is that he was known as a striker, with perhaps his limitations being on the ground, but Rockhold beat him at his own game, and he looked physically out matched from the outset.
As for Rockhold, redemption must be set. As Strikeforce’s incoming champion at 185 lbs, Rockhold was given a good spot in the UFC; opening his career with a match against Vitor Belfort. Rockhold was confident and said all the right things, but Belfort took him out fast.
With this resounding win, Rockhold would look to be back on track. That he did it striking shows that he is becoming a complete fighter who is dangerous anywhere and that he wasn’t gunshy in a firefight with a striker after his Belfort experience speaks volumes.
The UFC is going to look to test Rockhold in his next outing. Rockhold seemed to have Britian’s Michael Bisping in mind for his next opponent, and that would be a match that would favor Rockhold. Bisping is in danger of being cut, because he has consistently failed to break through and win a big match, and he is paid like a star. Though the UFC has very little British talent, Bisping is on the bubble and Rockhold would almost certainly be favored heading into the fight.