Constantinos Philippou took one step closer to the top with his unanimous decision victory over Riki Fukuda Saturday during UFC 148 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Philippou controlled the fight from start to finish on his way to scoring a 30-27 on two judges' scorecards and a 29-28 on the other judge's scorecard.
This fight helps demonstrate how good of a striker Philippou is and just how tough the Cyprus-born fighter really is. Philippou took two shots to the groin—one of which only made Philippou madder as he screamed and continued to press Fukuda.
Philippou also took one nasty eye poke that definitely hurt his left eye as it started to get more and more red seconds after the poke.
Now the question is what is next for the fighter who trains with Matt Serra out on Long Island.
Philippou is getting towards the middle of the pack in the middleweight division and I think this could go one of two ways for Philippou, who now owns a four-fight win streak that includes wins over Court McGee and Jorge Rivera.
Depending on the outcome of Ed Herman's upcoming fight with Jake Shields at UFC 150, I think a matchup with Herman could be a good setup to test his skills.
Also depending on whether or not Philippou escaped the fight unscathed, he could fight late this year or early next year against a returning Chris Leben. Leben's known to have a chin that can take punishment and setting him up against Philippou could be an interesting and exciting fight.
Another exciting fight to put Philippou in would be a fight against Wanderlei Silva who is coming off of a loss to Rich Franklin in the main event at UFC 147 from last month.
A fight with Silva or Leben seems like a tiny reach for Philippou who hasn't really been tested yet in the UFC with guys like Silva or Leben, but I think a fight with those two would produce an interesting and exciting fight to get the crowd going.
Either way, I think whoever fights Philippou next definitely has their hands full.