UFC 140 Results: 5 Fights Costa Philippou Should Take Next
Costa Philippou looked utterly dominant during his UFC 140 bout with Jared Hamman, finishing the fight by knockout in the first round.
Philippou battered Hamman with punches, knocking him down several times before referee "Big" John McCarthy was forced to stop the fight. It was Philippou's second straight victory inside the Octagon, his last coming against veteran Jorge Rivera.
Much like fellow Serra-Longo teammate Chris Weidman, Philippou was a highly touted prospect for years and is now finally making his mark on the division.
Cung Le was one of the top middleweights in Strikeforce, but is coming off of a devastating TKO loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139. However, he is still a very exciting fighter, despite his lack of relevance in the division.
A fight with Cung Le would be the biggest test of Philippou's career and make for an excellent stand-up war. After the loss to Silva, Le doesn't deserve a big name in the division, but this would be perfect to determine if he deserves to remain in the UFC.
After a layoff of 16 months, Alan Belcher finally returned to action last September, picking up a win over Jason MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 25.
Belcher is a talented Muay Thai striker that would certainly test Philippou's boxing-centric attack. Certainly a big step up in competition, but a win would propel him into the upper echelon of the division.
Alan "The Talent" Belcher has had 12 fights in the UFC, amassing an 8-4 record, although he has improved significantly in his last six bouts.
Despite a reputation for being tough as nails, Dan Miller is just 2-5 in his last seven bouts in the UFC, although his losses have come to some of the best the middlweight division has to offer including Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia, Michael Bisping, and Nate Marquardt.
Coming off a one-sided decision loss to Rousimar Palhares, Miller needs a bout against a fighter who isn't as highly ranked.
A loss to Costa Philippou would likely mark an end to Dan Miller's UFC career, but it would be an excellent test for both fighters.
At this point in his career, Wanderlei Silva has nothing left to prove. He easily retire right now and be remembered as one of the best in the sport's history. Still, if he wants to continue fighting, a bout with Costa Philippou would certainly make for fireworks.
Both fighters have heavy hands and rarely attempt takedowns. Much like Silva's last two fights with Chris Leben and Cung Le, this one could end abruptly.
Unfortunately, "The Axe Murderer" is no longer really relevant in the division, but he is still an entertaining fighter and an excellent challenge for an up-and-comer like Philippou.
Quite likely the biggest challenge on this list, Brian Stann is a Top 15 middleweight, despite being dominated by Chael Sonnen at UFC 136. Stann's lack of wrestling won't be a concern in a bout with Costa Philippou, however.
While both Stann and Philippou both have the ability to finish the fight via submission if necessary, it's unlikely this fight would go to the ground unless someone get knocked down.
Stann could use this fight to help get back into contender status, while Philippou could use the opportunity to make an argument for his own relevance in the division.