Costa Philippou has a wish for his next opponent, and he is not interested in making a small-fry request.
The 33-year-old boxer from Long Island, N.Y., is ready for the big time, and he anxiously eyes a bout with British middleweight superstar Michael "The Count" Bisping.
Philippou told BJpenn.com radio he would like to fight Bisping in July, and the fight would ensure a standup battle of attrition.
Further stoking the flame, Philippou said he would take the fight in Bisping's home country of England. This, he said, would make the UFC's job of marketing the fight easy and quickly fill the arena with fans.
“Being that it would be in his hometown, they wouldn’t have to try and sell the fight,” Philippou said. “The arena would be sold out in no time, all the tickets would be sold immediately. Bisping is a national hero over there and I wouldn’t mind beating him in his hometown.”
For Philippou, the bout would provide the stiffest test of his career both inside and outside of the cage.
Known for his trash talk as much as his fighting skill, Bisping is a master of getting under his opponent's skin and hyping a fight, while Philippou generally shies away from verbal spats.
This, however, will not be a problem should the matchup come to fruition.
“I’m not the trash talking kind of guy,” admitted the 33-year-old New York state resident. “If he wants to trash talk and say things about me, I’m not that sensitive, I don’t mind. I’ll let him do his job and sell the fight. At the end of the day it will be me and him in the cage and if he says something that really gets to me then I’ll take it out on him inside the Octagon. I have too much respect for the guy, he is a great fighter. The more he keeps trash talking me the more I will keep giving him compliments! We’ll try a different approach this time, everyone keeps trash talking one another, I am going to give compliments to everybody.”
Who takes a potential matchup between Philippou and Bisping?
In a time where title shots and big fights are earned with the tongue more easily than with fists, shins and takedowns (you know, actual fighting stuff), Philippou made a smart move in calling out Bisping.
Even though Bisping is coming off a loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7, this matchup would be huge for Philippou, and he would definitely fall into title talks with a big win over the brash Brit.
Making this even sweeter for the Serra-Longo trained New Yorker, a fight with Bisping is very winnable.
Philippou, a former Golden Gloves boxing star, possesses vicious power and speed in his fists, and his all-around game is ever-improving under the tutelage of his coaches, Matt Serra and Ray Longo.
There is huge upside here for Philippou, and time will tell whether he gets his wish.
If he does, however, we are in for one fine standup battle between two of the sport's finest 185-pound athletes.
Right now, I would favor Michael Bisping via unanimous decision in the fight, but anything is possible, and Philippou certainly has the ability to turn out The Count's lights and emerge victorious.
What do you think? Who do you see winning if Philippou's wish is granted?
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