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Akiyama out, LI's Philippou in at UFC 128
Costantinos Philippou, a mixed martial artist from Merrick (by way of Greece), will fight at UFC 128 in Newark on March 19, Newsday has confirmed. Verbal bout agreements are in place, but the contract hadn't been signed as of Saturday afternoon.
Philippou (7-1, 1 NC) will fight Nick Catone in the undercard at a catchweight of 195 pounds. A last-minute replacement, Philippou has some history with the UFC. He tried out for Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and made it to first show where the 28 fighters compete for a spot in the house. Philippou lost to Jon Henle (watch the fight here).
Catone was originally scheduled to fight Dan Miller on the undercard, but Miller got bumped up to the main card against Nate Marquardt. Yoshihiro Akiyama, aka "Sexiyama," was scheduled to fight Marquardt but backed out of the fight on Friday night after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.
Philippou's last fight was a victory over Uriah Hall at Ring of Combat 34 on Feb. 4. He trains with Ray Longo MMA in Garden City, a gym and trainer responsible for Matt Serra, Pete "Drago" Sell, Luke Cummo and Chris Weidman.