When it comes to the UFC middleweight title contender picture, it’s Tim Boetsch out, Costa Philippou in.
After a hard-fought first round during which Boetsch out-struck him 34-19, Philippou took control, taking advantage of an injured Boetsch and finishing him in the third of their UFC 155 bout after a series of ground strikes at 2:11.
Boetsch performed to his favorite status in the first, scoring a pair of takedowns and getting a front kick knockdown in the final seconds.
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In between rounds though, it was apparent something was wrong with Boetsch, as his corner man Matt Hume told him to work through the pain. It seemed as though he injured his right hand. To make matters worse, he was poked in the eye early in the second and never really seemed to recover afterward. From there, he backed off his aggressiveness, content to try to pull guard, and Philippou obliged him, delivering punishment from the top.
Boetsch tried one last gasp in the third when he shot for a takedown, but Philippou sprawled and ended up on top, and he opened up with strikes, not letting up until he got the TKO.
The win made it five in a row for Philippou, who took the fight on short notice. He’s now 12-2 with 1 no contest.
It’s a major step back from Boetsch, who was coming off a four-fight win streak including a recent victory over the explosive Cuban Hector Lombard. The defeat dropped his record to 16-5.
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