UFC Fight Night 40 Play: Costa Philippou (+195) vs Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (-235)

Lorenz-LarkinUFC Fight Night 40 Date: May 10, 2014 Arena: US Bank Arena City: Cincinnati, OH Middleweight bout: Costa Philippou (+195) vs Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (-235) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for UFC Fight Night 40 will be a middleweight contest in the form of Constantinos Philippou vs Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin. Philippou is the underdog in this bout at +195 ($100 to win $195), while Larkin is the favorite at -235 ($235 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Constantinos Philippou (12-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) had the two worst performances of his mixed martial arts career in back-to-back fights with his last two appearances inside the Octagon. First, he had his five fight winning streak snapped by Francis Carmont, a fight in which he lost every single round en route to a unanimous 30-27 decision on the judges’ scorecards. He followed that up with a first round TKO loss at the hands of former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, which marked the first time he has been finished, unless you count the elimination fight he lost to Joe Henle on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter. A professional boxer turned mixed martial artist, Philippou was doing well for himself in the sport, until leaving the Serra-Longo camp. He has dropped both fights since changing camps, and has not looked like his former self. He is one of the better boxers in the UFC’s middleweight division, and has very heavy hands, with 50 percent of his wins having come by way of T/KO. Although we did not see it in the Carmont bout, Philippou generally has good takedown defense. I’m not sure if it was Carmont’s offensive wrestling that overwhelmed him, or the fact that he switched camps and did not get the same type of training to prepare for that bout. The Cypriot’s ground game is not very good, so he likes to keep his fights standing, where he implements his boxing. He does not throw kicks too often, normally looking to touch his opponents with his hands, and being in constant search for the knockout. The 34-year old’s conditioning is hit or miss and a real question mark heading into this bout. I’m not confident he is as serious about his career as he used to be. I don’t think he is training nearly as hard as he used to. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (14-2-1 NC, 1-2 UFC) is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Brad Tavares at UFC Fight Night 35 nearly four months ago and is eagerly looking to get back in the win column. Larkin is a talented striker who possesses solid striking defense, as he utilizes good head movement, excellent footwork, and has nice counters. He has great balance and solid takedown defense, but when taken down, he is very active off his back. He moves around the cage really well, and comes at his opponents from different angles. The Strikeforce veteran is fast, and does a good job of changing speeds. He has solid kickboxing and boxing skills; it’s worth noting that he went 5-0 as an amateur boxer. The uppercut is one of Larkin’s favorite punches, and he uses it well. He even has a great lead uppercut, not to mention a heavy overhand right and a solid left hook. “The Monsoon” also has some nice flying attacks, including a flying knee and a flying roundhouse kick. He can be flashy with his style, but he is also very effective. He employs a spinning attack, as well, with which he often finds success. The former light heavyweight likes to use his jab, even his lead jab. He does damage with nearly every strike he connects with. Larkin has an excellent kicking game. He delivers beautiful, heavy kicks, and likes going to the head and body with them. He also works the inside and outside legs of his opponents really well, as he likes to mix it up and slow them down. The native of Riverside, CA works the Thai plum clinch well, and uses the position to put his knees and elbows to work. He puts great, effective combinations together, and while Larkin does not have excellent top control, he does employ a solid ground and pound attack, in which he does damage with heavy, vicious elbows. Conditioning has not been an issue for “The Monsoon” at 185-pounds, and I expect him to be ready for a full 15 minutes of action against the Cypriot, should the fight go the distance. Fight Prediction: I expect this fight to play out on the feet, where I think Larkin holds a speed and technical striking advantage. I feel like neither middleweight ‘showed up’ to their last fight, and as long as Larkin comes in focused, he should pull away with the win. I think Costa is on a decline, especially since switching camps. I have to side with Larkin, who should be the more motivated fighter. Gabe’s Call: “The Monsoon” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Lorenz Larkin (-235) parlayed with Erick Silva (-240) for +102 2.6u to win 2.65u

Written by Gabe Killian

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