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Fun food quotes from Costas Philippou

UFC fighter Costa Philippou prepares to spar

UFC fighter Costa Philippou prepares to spar during a training session at Ray Longo MMA Academy in Garden City. (Oct. 25, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Costas Philippou associates most things in life with food. Tired during a workout when there's no fight to train for? Take a break and eat something. A fun night with friends? Hey, where's the food? Celebrating an accomplishment? Let's eat!

That's all well and good . . . except when he's training for a fight and it's the holiday season and he needs to drop to 186 pounds by Jan. 14.

“People don’t get it," he said earlier this week. "We went for Christmas dinner, everybody's eating and I’m eating broccoli. This is it. People go, 'You gotta lose weight?' Yeah, I gotta lose 30 pounds, and they're looking at me like I'm crazy. I go, 'Not only 30 pounds, but I gotta lose it by next Friday.'”

Philippou said at this point in camp, he weighs around 200 pounds before the water-loading process begins. By the time he hits the scale in Duluth, Ga., next Tuesday for UFC Fight Night weigh-ins, the 10th-ranked middleweight will need be at 186.

“Try explaining to them I’m going to go fight for 30 minutes and somebody’s gonna try to kill me and I don’t get to eat," Philippou said.

The cold weather of the past week on Long Island, combined with the calorie cutting and weight monitoring had the 34-year-old Cyprus native thinking about something other than Luke Rockhold.

"I've been dreaming about pizza pies all day."

And what exactly does the food-loving fighter actually wind up eating when he goes home after a training session for a UFC main event that was preceded by shoveling snow just to dig his car out in order to drive to said training session at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy?

“I go home," Philippou said, "and I eat a little can of tuna and some bread and a little rice.”

New York Sports