Costas Philippou is returning to the Octagon after a one year layoff. In his last outing he defeated Lorenz Larkin, but in the two fights prior to that he dropped a decision against Frances Carmont and got knocked out by Luke Rockhold. He built his way into fighting big name fighters by going on August of 2011 and December of 2012. Impressive, but it began with a victory over Jorge Rivera and ended with a win over Tim Boetsch. There weren’t any very big names between those two fights and his last win was over a man that is now fighting at welterweight.

Philippou is up for yet another great challenge Saturday night. At UFC Fight Night and/or Morning, he will occupy the cage in the co-main event against Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi is an unorthodox human being, not just a fighter. His personality seems non-existent. He borders on the lethargic with his lack of emotion, but it doesn’t keep him from winning fights. He is only twenty-nine years old and he already has forty-one professional fights and he’s one thirty-six of them. Mousasi is dangerous everywhere. He has only gone to a decision in five of his victories, and the rest of his wins were divided amongst nineteen knockouts and twelve submissions.

Mousasi may be a threat in every possible position, but he has lost before and he can lose again. Philippou is no slouch and if he shows up prepared he can certainly end the night with his hand raised. Here are his keys to victory.

Rhythm Disruption: 

Mousasi is as cold and calculated as he appears. In a fight that he is dictating he can’t be stopped. It’s up to Philippou to apply pressure and consistently change things up to keep Mousasi from getting comfortable. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if he was training to switch stances in order to shut down some of Mousasi’s offense on the feet.

Take Down Defense: 

While Mousasi has won the majority of his fights by knock out, I still think Philippou is safest if they are striking. Aside from Mousasi’s most recent fight against a battle worn Dan Henderson, he hasn’t knocked a fighter out since 2011. Prior to that he didn’t have a knock out victory in almost three years. Philippou’s strength is in his hands and he can’t stray away from his own strength.

Capitalize: 

The words “Killer Instinct” are like nails on a chalk board because they are uttered ad nauseam by commentators. There’s a reason that it is talked about so much though. The difference between a fighter that has the ability to tell when the time is right to go all out and a fighter who doesn’t, is the difference between a good fighter and a top ten fighter. Mousasi has never been knocked out, and that is Philippou’s greatest chance of victory. If the moment presents itself he can’t let it slip away.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.