UFC Fight Night kicked off today, which featured a middleweight bout between Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou. Both of these middleweights needed a win, as a loss would send them back in line in the middleweight division, where Chris Weidman is the current champ. On paper, this fight was going to be fireworks from the start, and this is exactly what it lived up to.
Rockhold set the tone early, and it was clear he was the more technical, dynamic fighter on the feet. He kept Philippou at bay with his range, and landed some great kicks to the body. The kicks started to add up and he landed one more powerful left kick to the body, and Philippou was unable to continue.
He dropped to the canvas, and the ref was forced to step in. This was a huge win for Rockhold, who was looking to make a statement. He certainly did this in the middleweight division, and it’s clear his recent loss to Vitor Belfort motivated him like never before. Rockhold showcased why he’s one of the most dynamic kickers in the UFC’s middleweight division.
This is his first win inside the UFC, and it couldn’t have gone any better for him. In his post-fight interview, he said he wants Belfort next. He said he’s willing to go through anybody to get back to Belfort, including Michael Bisping. Whether it’s Bisping or Belfort for his next fight, Rockhold has finally arrived in the UFC, and he’s looking to become a champion.