Constantinos Philippou was originally slated to face Rafael Natal on the preliminary portion of Saturday night’s UFC 133 fight card at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. That all changed when Alessio Sakara had to withdraw due to an injury. UFC execs then pulled Philippou up to the main card to fight Jorge Rivera.
It was a no-brainer to take a slot on the main card, but it wasn’t an easy fight, especially after Philippou lost his Octagon debut.
Though both men are known for fireworks in their fists, the fight never escalated to its potential. There were moments where both fighters got their licks in, but the fisticuffs never exploded into a knockout.
Philippou, however, nearly scored an omo plata shoulder lock finish in round two, but even though he had a deep lock, he didn’t seem to know how to put on the finishing touches.
In the end, Philippou did do enough in the judges’ eyes, at least two of them, to score the split decision victory. The Cyprus fighter didn’t appear too pleased with his first UFC victory.
“Wasn’t my best performance. I’m happy I got the win, but the fight, it wasn’t that good,” Philippou said before he left the Octagon. “(The finish was) pretty close, but close is not enough.”
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