Costa Philippou makes his return to the UFC Octagon tonight at UFC 140 in Toronto, Canada. A former boxer, Costa trains out of the Serra-Longo camp on Long Island and is known for his hard hitting hands. Costa began his professional MMA career fighting at Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat promotion in New Jersey, and amassed a 7-1 record there before being called up to the UFC.
In his last UFC fight, at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Costa beat Jorge Rivera by decision. Tonight he faces Jared Hamman, who is 16-3 and coming off a TKO victory over C.B. Dollaway. Like Costa, Jared likes to throw bombs, and this fight is guaranteed to be fireworks. Despite a stellar card, there's a good chance that this bout will earn Fight of the Night honors, so be sure to catch it on ION TV.
Kristen Brown did an in depth interview with Costa recently, which I present for your view pleasure here. Part 2 of the interview after the jump.
Check out this great video footage of the aftermath of UFC 139, which included one of the all time great fights in Hendo vs. Shogun. The video is a Dana White Vlog, ahead of UFC 140, but it's mostly about the fighters backstage after UFC 139. These guys go through hell, win or lose, and these insider videos bring home the emotion of the fights in a way that is rarely seen by fans. This is a real as it gets, folks.
Jim Norton is a glutton for punishment. He seems to have a fetish for getting beat up by MMA fighters. In his latest episode, he took a kick from Jon Jones. Bones took it easy on him but still, shin on thigh is very painful, even if the shot is not hard. At least Bones didn't pull a Forrest Griffin and literally break the guy's leg. Here's the video of Norton getting his kicks.
Michael Bisping has a fight coming up with Jason Mayhem Miller, but that hasn't stopped him from talking about a title shot against UFC MW champ Anderson Silva. In this video, Bisping says that he's "elusive" and "hard to hit" (tell that Hendo!) and that his striking matches up well with The Spider.
Due to his popularity, if he does beat Miller, and that's a big IF in my opinion, he is likely to get his wish and get a shot at the UFC MW crown. I can't see Bisping being any threat at all to Anderson's title, but I've underestimated the British fighter in the past. He is definitely on of the top guys in the UFC MW division right, and when he fights Miller on Saturday, we'll see if he's worthy of a title shot.
ESPN's Kenny Mayne didn't have to go all the way to Thailand to experience real Muay Thai. He could have just visited New Jersey instead, where pro rules, WBC sanctioned Muay Thai made its debut earlier this year at Warrior's Cup XII. And this Saturday, December 3, Warrior's Cup XIII takes place at the RJ Collins Arena in Lincroft, New Jersey, and features some of Muay Thai's best fighters. It is a must-see show, and I am proud to be the ring announcer for the event.
Now back to Kenny. His visit to Thailand was pretty funny. As one fighter was being rubbed down with Namman Muay liniment, Kenny remarked that it looked like orange soda. That may be true, but the stuff works like a charm--yes, I use it myself, and so do many other people who fight and/or train. It's good stuff.
Pat Audinwood certainly lived up to his "Awesomely Awesome" nickname by stopping Ring of Combat champion Al Iaquinta in the first round of their title fight on November 18. Pat rocked Iaquinta with a left hook and then finished the fight with an armbar. In this interview with Kristen Brown talks with Pat about the fight, his nickname and his desire to get back into the UFC.
I have had the pleasure of ring announcing Audinwood several times, and I suspect we will see him back in the UFC again. He's a talented fighter with an excellent ground game and heavy hands. To beat the previously undefeated Al Iaquinta the way he did is a pretty amazing, and it was a great way for Pat to start earning his way back into the Octagon. Here's the video interveiw.
Legendary Japanese fighter Ryo Chonan performed one of MMA's greatest feats by submitting Anderson Silva with a flying scissor heel hook at the Pride Shockwave 2004 show. It was a beautifully executed move and an unforgettable way to win a fight. In the above video you can check out some backstage video of Anderson and Ryo, and then after the jump watch the submission itself. Classic MMA right here, folks.