When Riki Fukuda poked Costa Philippou in both eyes during their fight at UFC 148 in July, the Serra-Longo fighter was none too pleased.
With 1:45 left, Philippou went down quickly from the poke and could be heard screaming "Oh my God" as he winced in pain. It took him several minutes to be able to open his eyes. He still won the fight by unanimous decision.
As the Bayside-based Philippou, who trains with Ray Longo and Matt Serra on Long Island, prepares for UFC 155 this Saturday against Tim Boetsch, he spoke about the days after that "punch."
“It took me three or four weeks to see 100 percent," said Philippou, adding that the left eye hurt more than the right.
He said he woke up in the middle of that night in his hotel room and felt his eye oozing out a substance that shouldn't be oozed out of an eye.
“I couldnt read my phone for a week after that," Philippou said. "I couldn’t see more than six or seven feet, it was blurry. The first week, I couldn’t even text.”
Far easier to discuss that situation five months later. But in that moment, with a fight close to its conclusion, making an immediate decision is crucial.
“I figured two minutes, I’m just going to dance around," said Philippou. "Even if I lose this round, I know I got the first two rounds, I'm going to win the fight. But then he kicked me in the groin again and I got upset and started punching him.”