UFC Fight Night: Philippou vs. LarkinSaturday, May 10 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Costas Philippou (12-4) vs. Lorenz Larkin (14-2)Middleweight bout
Line: Larkin -245, Philippou +197
Two knockout artists square off at UFC Fight Night on Saturday night, as Costas Philippou and Lorenz Larkin enter the Octagon in Cincinnati.
Philippou will look to get back on track, as he enters this fight on a two-match losing skid. In his last fight on Jan. 15, he was knocked out in the first round by Luke Rockhold. In that bout, Rockhold was able to deliver a vicious leg kick to help get the victory. Philippou also lost a tough match to Francis Carmont at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 by way of unanimous decision. While he enters Saturday's fight with two consecutive defeats, Philippou is still a dangerous opponent with vicious knockout ability. Like Philippou, Larkin has been scuffling with two losses in his past three fights, including when he fell to Brad Tavares by unanimous decision on Jan. 15. He also has a loss to Carmont by way of unanimous decision on April 20, 2013, but preceding that fight on July 14, 2012, Larkin scored a resume-building victory against a terrific fighter in Robbie Lawler. LARKIN has a chance to show he is ready to make some noise in this weight class, and that will be exactly what he does with a convincing victory against Philippou.
"The Monsoon" Larkin has 14 victories in his career, with eight of them coming by way of knockout, and six of those KOs occurring in the first round. His other six victories come by way of decision. Larkin has shown the ability to drop his opponent with one punch, and he will have an advantage in this matchup in terms of landing significant strikes per minute (3.05 for Larkin, 2.37 for Philippou) and the accuracy of his fists (44% for Larkin, 36% from Philippou). Larkin is also a better punch defender at 64.8% (Philippou is 58%). The 27-year-old out of Riverside, CA does a great job of punching with a purpose, picking the perfect opportunity to deliver his strikes instead of just flailing away. He is also in terrific shape, which allows Larkin to beat on his opponent and wear him down for the victory. In this matchup, he will be going up against a fighter that also likes to throw strikes and has an identical frame of 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, which should make for a terrific bout.
Philippou has 12 victories in his career, with six of those victories coming by way of knockout. He also has five wins by decision and one by submission. In his last victory against Tim Boetsch on Dec. 29, 2012, Philippou showed his knockout ability by delivering big-time hits to help him win the match in the third round. This wasn't too surprising considering Philippou was a former pro boxer. Like Larkin, the 34-year-old who hails from Limassol Cyprusk, wants to stand up and throw strikes. While Philippou does not land as many strikes as Larkin, he is a very confident fighter that will come into this match thinking he will win. Both opponents want the exact same style of a boxing match, so it will come down to which one is able to connect with his fists when the opportunity arises. If the match does wind up on the mat, Philippou has a slight advantage in takedown average (0.48 to 0.29), but both men defend takedowns pretty well (Larkin 79%, Philippou 73%).