UFC 165: What We Learned from Costa Philippou vs. Francis Carmont
Middleweights Costa Philippou and Francis Carmont squared off as part of the UFC 165 main card Saturday night from Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Both fighters entered the contest riding a five-fight win streak, but only Carmont was able to stretch his run to six.
For Philippou, it's back to square one.
What We'll Remember about This Fight
There was nothing particularly memorable about the bout, but if anything, we'll remember it as the relegitimization of Carmont.
Despite the win streak, he had not looked too impressive in his previous two bouts. This win puts him back in the picture as a potential future challenger.
What We Learned about Carmont
Perhaps he is not the lucky, win-gifted, overrated fighter so many claimed he was. After winning controversial decisions over Tom Lawlor and Lorenz Larkin, Carmont earned every last bit of his UFC 165 victory.
His wrestling looked better than ever before. If he is able to maintain the level he showed Saturday night, he could be ready to climb the ladder.
What We Learned about Philippou
It looks like he has some work to do. We know he's a good striker, but to make it to the next level he'll have to improve his takedown defense and defensive grappling.
He was able to avoid taking too much damage on the ground but was unable to escape when he needed to.
This will either be a wake-up call for Philippou, or the fight that exposes him.
What's Next for Carmont
He dominated the No. 7-ranked middleweight—it's time for him to move up.
Based on what is available, that means either Ronaldo Souza or Yushin Okami.
What's Next for Philippou
He'll take a step back, but not necessarily a big one. If Alan Belcher can still see after that nasty eye poke from Michael Bisping at UFC 159, he'd be a good option.
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