Costa Philippou has won five straight bouts to move up the UFC middleweight ranks and secure the #7 spot in the division, but the powerful fighter’s momentum has been stalled in 2013. Philippou was scheduled for a pivotal fight with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC on FX 8 in May, but a cut he incurred in training forced him out of the bout. As a result, Philippou hasn’t fought since last December, when he stopped Tim Boetsch.
While appearing on the most recent edition of “The MMA Hour”, Philippou made it clear he’s more than eager to get back into the Octagon.
“As soon as possible. I wanted to fight in Boston. That didn’t happen. I know there’s a show in Toronto on September 21st. My last fight was in Canada. The fans are great over there. It’s a short flight for me, I don’t have to change anything. I would love to fight in Toronto.”
“I’m expecting a call. They’ve got to figure out who I’m supposed to fight. Just give me somebody at this point. I don’t really give a s–t if it’s a big name, small name, whatever.”
It’s a good thing Philippou is keeping an open mind in terms of an opponent, as pretty much all of the promotion’s top middleweights are booked for bouts. In fact, the only top ten middleweight who isn’t officially booked for a bout (or expected to fight) is Vitor Belfort, who has been pretty clear he wants to fight for the title next. Philippou understandably expressed an interest in fighting Belfort, but added “anywhere but Brazil.” The reason being:
“If I can prevent him from using TRT, why not? I know that some fighters get an exemption. It’s a technicality that they say it’s legal as long as by the fight time your limit is at a certain number, you’re okay. But what happens is two or three months before, they load up, they go through the roof with the hormones and everything, and then a couple of weeks before the fight they drop to the legal level. I don’t think it’s fair. Either legalize it for everybody and give everybody an exemption to use it, or ban it altogether.”
It will be interesting to see who Philippou faces when he finally gets back into action.