Round 1: Rivera striking early before Philippou looks for the clinch. Philippou manages to get the takedown. Philippou not doing much on top, but as Rivera looks to get to his feet, he unloads a few punches. They are back up again, now in the clinch. The referee has seen enough and separates them. Both fighters swing before Philippou initiates the clinch again. Rivera nails Philippou with a big right but they are stuck in the clinch again. Fairly uneventful round 1.
MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 Costas Philippou
Round 2: The fighters are swinging heavy leather to start round 2 and Rivera gets clipped and he’s down. Philippou looks to follow up for the finish, nailing Rivera with shots. Rivera survives and reverses and gets Philippou to the mat. Rivera starts to land shots of his own as Philippou defends. Back up to the feet against the cage, and they separate. Back in the clinch as they fight for position and Rivera gets the takedown, but Philippou locks on an omo plata. Philippou rolls and ends up on top of Rivera as the round closes.
MMAWeekly scores R2 10-9 Costas Philippou
Round 3: Rivera lands a nice knee to the body to start round 3. Rivera looks for a head kick, but misses. Rivera still pushing forward looking for the knockout, likely knowing he’s down 2 rounds to none. Philippou slips under and gets the takedown to slow the pace. Rivera looks for an armbar, but Philippou gets out and winds up on top again, but Rivera is able to stand back up. Rivera gets Philippou to the ground this time, but the action is stalled. Back on the feet as the fight comes to a close but Philippou ends things with another takedown.
MMAWeekly scores R3 10-9 Jorge Rivera
Costas Philippou def. Jorge Rivera by splite decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)