Constantinos Philippou began life in Cyprus, and he began his stay in the United States several years ago as a professional boxer.
He turned to mixed martial arts, but the Ray Longo-trained fighter from Massapequa never forgot his roots.
Amid the takedowns, the wrestling, the jiu-jitsu, it's always been Philippou's hands that keep opponents awake at night.
Philippou used his superior striking to easily defeat Jared Hamman by TKO in the first round at UFC 140 on Saturday night in Toronto.
"This is the best day of my life," said Philippou (9-2-1, 2-1 UFC). "It was about time. This is who I am."
Two minutes into, Philippou countered a leg kick with a left-right punch combo that sent Hamman (13-4) staggering to the other side of the octagon. He followed with another bunch that dropped Hamman. Another two knockdowns later in the round and referee John McCarthy stepped in to stop the bout with 1:49 left in the first round.