If Michael Bisping Wants a Proven UFC Winner, Costa Philippou Says Step on Up

June 1, 2013
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Courtesy of Damon Martin and official MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report.

03-Costa Philippou vs Tim Boetsch UFC 155-4240Costa Philippou is gunning for a fight when he returns later this year, and he couldn’t think of a better opponent to face than perennial UFC bad boy Michael Bisping.

Philippou was most recently scheduled for UFC on FX 8 in a bout against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, but the New York-based fighter suffered a deep cut during training that forced him out of the bout.

Now with the wound almost healed, Philippou has one name on his radar, and he’s doing everything in his power to make the fight happen.

“He’s a huge name. Obviously beating Bisping it would put me in the top three, and it works for Bisping too because beating me, it will get him up in the top of the ranks. Maybe give him a title shot. I don’t have the name that Bisping has, but I have five wins in a row. He’s never had five wins in a row, so I think it would benefit him too,” Philippou told MMAWeekly.com official content partner Bleacher Report in an exclusive interview. “He’s a great striker, so am I, so I think it would be an exciting fight for the fans.”

Throughout his time with the UFC, Philippou has been a worker inside the cage but never one to speak out of turn about opponents or trash talk before a fight. He knows calling out Bisping will certainly get him in the crosshairs of one of the most prolific promoters the sport of MMA has ever known, but he’s ready for whatever verbal jabs the Brit throws at him.

He promises that no matter what Bisping says, it won’t get to him like it has against some past opponents.

“I understand why he does it, and at the end of the day it’s just business. If he chooses to do that, I’m game, not a big deal. I’ll go right back at him,” Philippou said. “At the end of the day it would be me and him in the cage and I honestly feel I can take him.

“He is a great fighter, nobody can deny that, nobody can take that away from him. I don’t know if you’re weak mentally and you allow him to get to you, I don’t know what to say. I don’t think he can get to me mentally, I’m stronger than anybody else mentally. That’s not an issue for me. He can talk as much as he wants.”

There was already some talking from Bisping recently when he responded to another call-out from former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, who asked to fight him next in the Octagon. Bisping took a response shot at Rockhold’s current 0-1 record in the UFC following a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8.

If Bisping is looking for an opponent with UFC wins and ranking, Philippou reminds him that he’s got five wins in a row and currently sits at No. 6 in the world.

“It’s a win-win for everybody. I’m not just anybody, I’m ranked, he can see that. I noticed Luke Rockhold called him out today, but like Bisping said he hasn’t won a single fight in the UFC and he told him to go get a few wins in the UFC and then come back. He can’t really say that about me,” Philippou stated.

“I’ve been in the UFC for a couple of years and I’ve been winning.  He wants a better opponent, let him step in and prove it.”

Philippou’s campaign to fight Bisping has officially started, but as of yet he hasn’t heard from the former Ultimate Fighter winner. His hope is that Bisping accepts his challenge and the two can meet in the cage later this year and find out which of them is truly an elite middleweight in the UFC.

“I’m waiting,” Philippou said about Bisping. “Hopefully he’s going to get back to me soon and we’ll set that up. I’m willing to fight him anywhere he wants. I’ll go to England if he wants.”

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  • bajafox

    No way he’ll take this fight. He needs a gimme to stay relevant.

  • solo

    Everyone wants a piece of Bisping. lool
    When you look at the top 10 rankings, this fight is the only that is left. So, why not??
    Hope Mike accept it. A possible win for any of them is big imo.

    • Wolf Ticket

      When you look at the top 10 rankings, you see Bisping didn’t win against any of the remaining 9 guys. There’s plenty of fights left in there.

      • solo

        Yea, thats true.
        But what i meant was is that, there isnt any available top 10 middleweight for him to fight at this point. Cause…
        Weidman is fighting Silva.
        He already lost to Belfort.
        Munoz vs Boetsch is slated for UFC 162.
        Dana said that he’s gonna put Jacare vs Okami, so the only one who is left is Costa and Rockhold. But Luke is just got KO by Vitor.

        • Wolf Ticket

          Oh, I see, good point.

  • Mike Byrne

    I would take this fight if I was Bisping, all he has to do is out wrestle him and do a little ground and pound, I like Costa a lot but I’m 100% sure bispings wrestling out classes his

  • drkdisciple

    I don’t see how Bisping can lose this fight!

  • Ramon S

    Bisping vrs Rockhold would be a better fight.

  • adice89

    Umm costa is a much better boxer than bisping. It would be a close match tho.

  • f ufc

    Ufc will try to give bisping the least dangerous opponent because they don’t want him to lose…bisping is the champ of C level fighters

  • Chris Menaci

    He’s avoiding Costa cause he knows he’ll lose. Costa has a solid chin and great power in his hands, in all the fights i’ve seen him in. he’s rocked his opponent with pretty hard shots. He’s also taken shots from Knockout artists like Jared Hamman, Jorge Rivera and Uriah Hall and beat them all so you know he has a chin on him. If he can defend Mike’s TD’s, I see him winning this unless he tires out or gets taken down, that’s where Bisping has the edge.

  • lowlb

    I love the picture posted with this article. Stop hitting yourself Boesch.

  • Sir_Roy

    Everyone wants Bisping because his name brings a decent payroll (everyone seems to love seeing him get smacked around), coupled with a raise in the rankings and all at minimal risk. Let’s face it, Bisping is not the scariest killer in the division.

  • gnodeb

    He was supposed to fight opponent with great ground game and KO power. Now he is calling out technical striker who has some kind of ground game but never use it for offence. Let me ges… he has problem with ground game? Why isn’t he calling out Jacare. Why Gustafston is not calling out Mousasi. Like this it looks like they dodged these fights…
    I wish fighters would stop picking fights like this…

    • FedorEmilianenkoJr.

      Gustafsson just called out Jon Jones and Jones responded. Looks like that fight might happen. Mousasi vs Bisping would be a good fight.

  • barnettoo

    what does “step on up” mean???