NEWARK - Costa Philippou had all of seven days to prepare for his UFC debut against Nick Catone at UFC 128 in Prudential Center on Saturday night.
That's a gutsy decision to take a fight on such short notice, but the Massapequa resident with solid striking had no choice but to gamble that this could lead to something bigger with the UFC.
Catone, who had a full training camp, won a hard-fought unanimous decision against Philippou.
“I had 250 people here to see me fight," Catone said. "I heard them up in the stands screaming for me and that gave me the inspiration to keep pushing forward. I followed through on my game plan, was able to ground and pound and earn the victory.”
The first two rounds were spent mainly on the feet, with both Philippou and Catone landing some good shots. The first two rounds also featured late takedowns by Catone (9-2).
Catone's wrestling advantage came out early in the third round as he shot in and took down Philippou with ease.
Given the short notice with which he took the fight, Philippou (7-2) will more than likely get another fight in the UFC.