Despite coming off of a loss in his lone 2013 fight, UFC middleweight Costas Philippou says his biggest goal is to put on an exciting fight tonight against Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 35.
“They’re putting trust in me by letting me headline a show, and all I want to do is just put on an exciting fight. I want to get Fight of the Night. That’s the first goal. If it’s a great fight and we both fight our asses off and I end up losing, and it is Fight of the Night and something that people will remember, I won’t say it wouldn’t hurt, but it won’t bother me," Philoppou told Thomas Gerbasi in a recent UFC interview.
"I will come back home and I’ll be happy. But if I win a fight and it’s boring like my last one, I’ll be a little upset with myself. I want to go in and please the fans and show that it wasn’t me. I want to fight.”
Philippou knows that Rockhold is a dangerous opponent, despite himself coming off a KO loss to Vitor Belfort.
“He’s the next generation,” he said.
“The guy grew up in an MMA gym, he doesn’t have any weak spots, he’s well-rounded, and he’s an MMA fighter. He’s not like me; I came from a boxing background and I’m trying to adapt. He’s the 2.0. Having said that, I want to go in and try to take his head off.”
That said, Philippou is more than confident in himself. He has quietly built one of the more impressive records in the UFC's middleweight division over the past three years and says it is no accident.
“Nobody can say I was lucky,” the Serra-Longo team member said.
“You get lucky once or twice, not five times in a row. I am pretty comfortable with my wrestling ability, with my takedown defense and me actually taking opponents down, though I’d rather stay on my feet and put on a better show, and I am more comfortable on the feet. It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, striking with my fists. Everybody knows what I’m trying to do. I want to stand and exchange and strike. If they want to do that, that would be great. If not, and they want to wrestle or do jiu-jitsu, I’ll be more than happy to go where the fight goes.”