UFC Fight Night 35 Play: Constantinos Philippou (+320) vs Luke Rockhold (-390)

Luke RockholdUFC Fight Night 35 Date: January 15, 2013 Arena: Arena at Gwinnett Center City: Duluth, GA Middleweight bout: Constantinos Philippou (+320) vs Luke Rockhold (-390) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC Fight Night 35 will be a middleweight contest between Long Island’s Constantinos Philippou and Northern California’s Luke Rockhold. Philippou is the underdog heading into this bout against the former Strikeforce middleweight champion at +320 ($100 to win $320), with Rockhold being the favorite at -390 ($390 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. CONSTANTINOS PHILIPPOU (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is coming off the worst performance of his Octagon career, losing a unanimous decision to Francis Carmont, in a match-up he was the betting favorite going in. He now looks to get back on the win column while simultaneously taking a step up in competition. A professional boxer turned mixed martial artist, Philippou has done well for himself in the sport. He is one of the better boxers in the UFC’s middleweight division, and has very heavy hand, with 50 percent of his wins having come by way of T/KO. Although we did not see it against Carmont, Philippou generally has good takedown defense. His ground game is not very good, so he likes to keep his fights standing, where he implements his boxing. He does not throw kicks often, normally just looking to box, and looking for the knockout. His conditioning is hit or miss, but regardless, he will be at a disadvantage in that department going into this bout against the former Strikeforce middleweight champion. LUKE ROCKHOLD (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is coming off of a first round knockout loss against current UFC middleweight title challenger Vitor Belfort. The loss snapped a nine fight winning he had built. Now, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion now looks to get back on the win column with a victory over Philippou in Georgia. Rockhold is a very talented grappler, both offensively and defensively. He has solid wrestling, and a great submission game. He is good at scoring takedowns, as well as defending them. He has a solid base, thanks to his judo background, and is hard to take down. To compliment his grappling, Rockhold is also incredibly talented on the feet. He is a very well-rounded fighter who exceeds in many areas of mixed martial arts. He generally dictates where his fights take place, and has octagon control. His striking skills are excellent, especially the variety of kicks he dishes out. He has a nice flying knee, and works some beautiful spinning kicks. He throws some head kicks, but more so likes to attack his opponents body with kicks and knees. Rockhold works well against the cage, and he also likes to stand and trade with his opponents. However, after his last fight, he may not exactly feel the same regarding that. Training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, Rockhold is a very well-conditioned athlete who will be ready to go hard for all 25 minutes of action, should the fight go the distance. Fight Prediction:Rockhold is going to dictate where this fight takes place, and he’s going to have his way with Philippou. I have no idea how it’s going to happen; TKO, submission, or decision, but one way or another, Rockhold Is going to get his hand raised. Gabe’s Pick: Luke Rockhold by Submission (rear naked choke, 3:49 round 4) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Luke Rockhold (-390) parlayed with Yoel Romero (-230) for -125 5u to win 4u, and Rockhold (-390) parlayed with TJ Dillashaw (-280) for -142 4.4u to win 3.1u

Written by Gabe Killian

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