Luke Rockhold was not eased into UFC competition in 2013.
The former Strikeforce middleweight champion was welcomed to the Octagon by Vitor Belfort in May. Rockhold traveled all the way to Brazil only to have a spinning heel kick slammed into his head in the first round.
At UFC Fight Night 35, Rockhold will attempt to pick up his first UFC victory, as he battled injuries through the remainder of 2013 and has not fought since debuting at UFC on FX 8. Standing between the American Kickboxing Academy fighter and a return to the win column will be Costas Philippou.
Following a key win over Tim Boetsch, Philippou's run toward the top of the middleweight class hit a speed bump at UFC 165, where he was taken down multiple times by Francis Carmont and beaten in a decision.
Will Rockhold or Philippou jump back in the race for a title shot in the 185-pound class?
Here is a closer look at how the UFC Fight Night 35 headliners match up in all areas.