Costas Philippou snapped a two fight losing streak by defeating Lorenz Larkin via TKO in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 40, but it was a hard journey before he arrived at this point. Costas questioned himself many times over the past 7 months—following a 1st round TKO loss to Luke Rockhold in January at UFC Fight Night 35—whether or not he wanted to continue competing in mixed martial arts.
“Now it’s more fun, but it was a very stressful period for the past 6-7 months. I reached a point that I was doubting myself, I was doubting if I still wanted to fight,” Philippou said. “But I just want to thank Dana and the UFC for showing faith.”
Philippou knew he was on a short lease in the UFC, and needed a win to stay in the organization. He went out there and traded blows with Larkin, in an entertaining first round. The end came when Philippou landed a right hook-left hook-right hook combination, with Larkin’s back against the cage, to drop his opponent and emerge victorious.
“I can’t describe it, only fighters know how I feel right now,” said an elated Philippou. “Especially coming off back to back losses, I wouldn’t blame him [Dana], losing this fight, if they were going to fire me and send me home. But winning the way I won, I feel on top of the world right now.”
After suffering back to back losses to Francis Carmont and Luke Rockhold, Costas Philippou said he lost something that made him rethink about his fighting career. It took a new gym for him to find what was once lost, at Bellmore Kickboxing under head coach Keith Trimble was what got Philippou’s head back in the game.
“Did you watch my last fight? Do you blame me?” Philippou asked a reporter at the post-fight press conference. “Two fights ago, I spent 12 out of 15 minutes laying on my back. It was an awful experience for myself and the fans. I was embarrassed.”
“I came back and my last fight was even worse, I got knocked out for the first time in my life. So I started doubting the fact that I can even keep doing what I was doing. I didn’t know if I still had it in me. My coaches stuck by my side. They basically told me to put my big boy pants on and go fight.”
“I finally found what I was missing the past year. I lost the will to fight, I didn’t want to diet, I didn’t want to go to the gym. My new gym, my new training partners, my new coaches. Everything came together this time and I feel like I’m reborn again.”