RECAP: UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou fight blog

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After a disappointing start to his UFC career, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold showed why many people consider him to be a top contender, earning a first-round stoppage win over Costas Philippou in the main event of Wednesday night’s event in Duluth, Georgia.

Rockhold showed tremendous patience and poise early in the fight, happy to find his range and look for openings against the durable Philippou. Just over two minutes into the first, Rockhold found and opening, driving a kick into the midsection that hurt Philippou, following up with a second heavy kick that sent the Cypriot to the floor, ending the fight just one second beyond the midway point of the opening round.

In the co-main event of the evening, Hawaiian Brad Tavares pushed his winning streak to five with a unanimous decision victory over Lorenz Larkin, elevating himself into the conversation at the top of the middleweight division. A former Ultimate Fighter contestant, Tavares is a steady, technical fighter who works combinations well, and showed that on Wednesday night, keeping Larkin off balance throughout.

Luke Rockhold (10-2) vs. Costas Philippou (12-3)

Lorenz Larkin (14-1) vs. Brad Tavares (11-1)

T.J. Dillashaw (8-2) vs. Mike Easton (13-3)

Yoel Romero (6-1) vs. Derek Brunson (11-2)

John Moraga (13-2) vs. Dustin Ortiz (12-2)

Sam Sicilia (12-3) vs. Cole Miller (20-8)

Ramsey Nijem (8-4) vs. Justin Edwards (9-3)

Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-3-1) vs. Elias Silverio (9-0)

Brian Houston (4-1) vs. Trevor Smith (10-4)

Vinc Pichel (7-1) vs. Garett Whiteley (7-1)

Charlie Brenneman (19-5) vs. Beneil Dariush (6-0)