Constantinos Philippou Plans to Make Most of UFC 133 Main Card Slot


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit
Nick Catone Constantinos Philippou UFC 128
Constantinos Philippou throws a kick at UFC 128

Constantinos Philippou, against Jorge Rivera at UFC 133 this Saturday, is hoping that the third time is the charm.

Originally, Philippou was featured on the eleventh season of ”The Ultimate Fighter,” as a middleweight hopeful. He was eliminated in the opening round by Jospeh Henle. It looked like his aspirations for entering the world’s largest mixed martial arts stage would have to be put on hold.

Philippou continued to plug away on the regional circuit, where he became a staple for the popular Ring of Combat promotion, defeating notables Victor O’Donnell and Uriah Hall. While the Cyprus native was gearing up for another pivotal moment of his career, the infamous UFC call came, and on just five-days notice, he was back in the fold.

“I had no idea. I actually had a fight scheduled a month later for Bellator and I was taking a couple of weeks off thinking I’m going to have enough time to prepare for that fight, and it was actually five days notice that (the UFC) called me,” said Philippou, recalling his short notice venture at UFC 128 last March.

The now Merrick, N.Y., transplant was filling in for an injured Dan Miller, taking on scrappy wrestler Nick Catone. The upside was that Philippou would earn the favor of the UFC brass by stepping up. The downside was knowing that he wasn’t adequately prepared for such a momentous opportunity.

“I was happy that I was fighting for the UFC, but not happy that I was out of shape, but I kind of had no choice because you never know,” he told MMAWeekly.com.

“You say no, then who’s to say that they’re going to call you again? So I had to take it.”

The former pro boxer (who came up just short in 2005 for the famed New York Golden Gloves tournament after just two months in the U.S.) had adequate time for prepare for his next match-up, despite yet again serving as a late replacement. Philippou filled in for an injured Riki Fukuda, opposite Rafael Natal in a pivotal bout for both men. Natal was winless in his first two UFC contests, losing a decision to Rich Attonito in his Octagon debut before going to a draw with Jesse Bongfeldt last December. And if that wasn’t enough, Natal is somewhat of an acquaintance.

Philippou is trained under the tutelage of both Ray Longo and Matt Serra, the former UFC welterweight champion. Serra began his career under Renzo Gracie, who awarded him his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Serra’s loyalty is unwavering, so when he first heard word that Philippou was taking on Natal, he was a little disappointed to say the least. Why? Because Natal is a student under the prolific Gracie fighter.

“Matt wasn’t really happy with me taking the fight, but I really feel that it was a good fight for me, although Matt didn’t agree with me,” recalled the 31-year-old.

“I had to take it. I felt that it was a good fight for me. When I told Matt, he wasn’t happy about it, but it was ultimately my decision so I took the fight.”

In a strange turn of fate, Philippou was once again shuffled in the deck when Alessio Sakara had withdrawn from his UFC 133 bout with Jorge Rivera due to injury. Philippou was pulled from the fight with Natal and will now be taking on a tested veteran and former contender on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view.

“This time is different. I had a few weeks. I’ve had enough time to prepare. Even though they switched my opponent last minute, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m in shape, I don’t care who I fight. I think this is good for me. I’m going to win this one,” said Philippou, who is not short on confidence heading into the match-up.

“It’s obviously the biggest fight of my life. When I win this fight, it will be a huge step for me, and finally I’ll get to show (the UFC) who I really am, that I can actually fight, because the last two times I showed them that I basically sucked. Nobody really knows if I’m a good fighter yet because both times that they actually saw me, I was out of shape and I didn’t have anything to show. So I’m hoping this time I get to show what I’ve got.”

“Definitely this fight is not going the distance. I’m hoping second or third round I get to finish Jorge Rivera.”

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Brian Lopez-Benchimol is a contributing writer for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@bbenchimol718 on Twitter or e-mail Brian a question or comment.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 4 days ago
  • 12 views

Mookie Alexander puts on his matchmaking cap for the main card fighters from last night's UFC on Fox 12.
UFC on Fox 12 was another great show in a month chock-full of tremendous cards and fights. Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown delivered on action (but not an emphatic finish as many had predicted), Bobby Green scored a division-shaking upset, while Dennis Bermudez and Anthony Johnson absolutely demolished their respective opponents. There were only 3 finishes on the card out of 12 fights, but there more

  • 4 days ago
  • 16 views

It took five rounds of brawling with Matt Brown, but Robbie Lawler eventually emerged as the top contender in the welterweight division on Saturday in San Jose, California, at UFC on Fox 12.
Earning a unanimous nod on the scorecards, Lawler has earned the first shot at dethroning newly crowned 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks.
Hendricks won the welterweight belt in March with a decision victory over the UFC on Fox 12 main event winner, but Lawler has beaten Brown and Jake Ellenberger since the more

  • 14 days ago
  • 22 views

Donald Cerrone doesn't have any plans to slow down.
On Wednesday, Cowboy picked up his third win in 2014, scoring a knockout over Jim Miller in the main event at UFC Fight Night 45. That gives Cerrone four straight wins, as he hurdles toward a shot at the lightweight championship.
The Jackson-Wink MMA product has been here before, but he has developed a tendency to falter in the fights that could get him over the hump. With his current winning streak, another big fight, possibly even a title sho more

  • 14 days ago
  • 23 views

Mookie Alexander does some fantasy matchmaking for last night's main card fighters from UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller.
Fans who looked forward to Wednesday's UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller got their money's worth, whether via attending the event in Atlantic City or justifying the cable bill required to get Fox Sports 1. It was really a fun night of fights that should be the standard for how a UFC card should look on cable TV. You don't HAVE to have a title fight as the main event or e more

  • 5 days ago
  • 54 views

MMA Fighting has UFC on FOX 12 results for the Lawler vs. Brown fight card July 26, plus live coverage from San Jose, live blogs of the main card, and live UFC on FOX 12 twitter updates.In the main event, Robbie Lawler squares off against Matt Brown in a welterweight contest. Also on the card, Anthony Johnson faces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the co-main event.Check out the UFC on FOX 12 results below.Main card (FOX at 8 p.m. ET)Robbie Lawler vs. Matt BrownAnthony Johnson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nog more

  • 5 days ago
  • 14 views

Watch MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani and Dave Meltzer preview the UFC on FOX 12 main card, including the crucial welterweight clash between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown, as well as the light-heavyweight contest between Anthony Johnson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. more

  • 4 days ago
  • 985 views

Watch the full fight video highlights for the UFC on FOX 12 main event between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown. more

  • 4 days ago
  • 12 views

With the ghosts of Strikeforce still shuffling through the rafters, the UFC returned to the SAP Center (formerly known as the HP Pavilion) on Saturday night in an effort to fill the needs of Bay Area MMA fans.
Offering up an explosive main event that unsurprisingly delivered on its promise of entertainment, as well as a co-main event that might well have created a fresh contender for the light heavyweight title, the promotion's 12th show on Fox was mostly a success.
Here are the grades for those more

  • 24 days ago
  • 39 views

What could be next for Chris Weidman, Ronda Rousey, Uriah Hall and Russell Doane after their impressive main card victories last night (Sat., July 5, 2014) at UFC 175: “Weidman vs. Machida,” which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada? We try to match up the winners accordingly, below.
It's time to play matchmaker.
UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" took place last night (Sat., July 5, 2014) from inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, gifting fans with two memorable title fights on the pa more