Coming in the minor leagues of New Jersey’s Ring of Combat promotion, Costa Philippou quickly established a reputation as a fearsome striker, and when he transitioned to life in the Octagon, that same rep carried over. The fact is, to stand with Philippou is to court disaster, so the big question on Wednesday night – at UFC Fight Night 35 – is if main event opponent Luke Rockhold will attempt to go that route.

So just who is Philippou? Here’s what you need to know about him in easily-digestible form:

  • His first MMA bout was on May 9, 2008, at Ring of Combat 19. It was against future UFC vet Ricardo Romero, who was widely hailed as a top local fighter; Philippou dominated, but lost a decision due to a point deduction on a foul (he accidentally kicked Romero while Romero was down).
  • He won seven more times in ROC before getting the call to join the UFC’s ranks.
  • His list of notable wins includes names like Uriah Hall, Jorge Rivera, Jared Hamman, Court McGee and Tim Boetsch.
  • His last fight was a loss via decision to Francis Carmont at UFC 165 on September 21, 2013. Carmont eschewed striking with Philippou and instead went the lay-and-pray route.
  • Philippou’s overall record is 12-3-1. The losses have come via decisions, and of the wins, six were via a form of knockout, one was a submission and five were decisions. His lone “no contest” was from an accidental kick to the groin.

Check out these videos for a glimpse into Philippou’s pre-UFC years.

As befitting his main event status, the folks at the UFC put together this video profile: