(Props: FOX Sports)
Erasing the bitter memory of his unsuccessful Octagon debut, Luke Rockhold began building his own UFC highlight-reel last night at UFC Fight Night 35 with a first-round body-kick TKO of Costa Philippou. Rockhold picked up a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for the effort. At the post-fight press conference, Rockhold did what every surging middleweight does after a big win — he called out Michael Bisping:
“I’m looking at anyone in the middleweight division to get myself back into (title) position,” Rockhold said. “I already let it be known Bisping’s out there. A lot of people are calling him out, but Bisping went on national TV and told everybody he was the unofficial Strikeforce champion. He calls it a joke and this and that, but I say he’s got bad taste and he needs to pay for it.”
In other bonus news, featherweight Cole Miller won Submission of the Night for his second-round rear-naked choke of Sam Sicilia — which Miller followed up by calling out Donald “Clownboy” Cerrone in the post-fight interview — while middleweights Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson both got $50,000 bumps for FOTN. Highlights from both those matches are embedded at the end of this post.
Romero — who earned his third-consecutive KO/TKO win in the UFC by stopping Brunson with savage ground-and-pound in the third round — claims to have not pooped his pants during the match, despite damning Vine evidence to the contrary. However, Romero can’t deny the dick-punch he landed on Brunson. That was ugly, bro.
In injury news, Derek Brunson was taken to a hospital after the event to reportedly have surgery on a fractured jaw. (I’m surprised he didn’t have a bunch of broken ribs as well, thanks to all those elbows that Romero dropped on him in the finish. By the way, was that a late stoppage or what? Referee Blake Grice should have to chip in for Brunson’s medical bills.) Also, Cole Miller broke his hand and will find out today if he needs surgery.
In semi-related news, Dana White took some time at the “Rockhold vs. Philippou” post-fight press conference to respond to Georges St-Pierre’s recent criticism of the UFC’s drug-testing policies. Unsurprisingly, White called St-Pierre “kooky” and questioned his manhood. Some notable quotes via MMAMania:
“First of all, I don’t know if anybody remembers this but Georges St. Pierre is the one who said that he wanted to do the extra drug testing because he wanted to prove that he wasn’t on drugs. It wasn’t that he thought that Johny Hendricks was on steroids or performance enhancing drugs of any kind; he wanted to do this…[Y]ou see it in boxing all the time. One guy comes out and says ‘I want to do extra drug testing because I’m worried about this guy and I want to see what’s going on.’ They never come to an agreement. This guy says ‘I want to use this one’, this guy says ‘I want to use that one’; the Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to test them, okay?
“Now, a lot of things… I’ve talked about the Nevada State Athletic Commission as far as the refs and the judges; they drug test. Not only did they drug test Josh Barnett for his last fight because Josh Barnett has been busted for performance enhancing drugs before, they also made Travis Browne do it at the same time and the UFC paid for that. We paid for that drug testing. Also, for him to say we’re very lenient on drug testing, when we go out of the country and we regulate ourselves we test everybody on the card, not just the main event, not just the co-main event. You want to talk about being lenient? The fight that I was screaming about, yelling about that it was the greatest fight I’ve ever seen, Mark Hunt vs. Bigfoot Silva, we tested the guys for that fight, we caught Bigfoot Silva, and he got destroyed. Literally, got destroyed for going over the limit.
“He didn’t test positive, what he did was: Vitor Belfort, Bigfoot Silva, any of these other guys that are on TRT we test them throughout their whole camp. He did his last test the week of the fight and his numbers were fine. He took a shot after he got tested. So we tested him again after and his levels were through the roof and he got destroyed. Lost the win money that we gave him, lost the bonus money that we gave him, and obviously he’s not getting an extra bonus. The guy got smashed, and he’s suspended for a year. So if that’s lenient on drugs I guess we’re lenient then. I mean, I don’t even know what to say to it…
“What I heard is Georges St. Pierre is upset about some of the things I said at the press conference and he’s upset that I said that he didn’t win the fight, that I thought Johny Hendricks won the fight. But if that’s the case, call me man-to-man. Let’s talk on the phone, let’s sit down face-to-face. I talked to him after the fight face-to-face (and) he didn’t say any of that to me. So the whole thing is a little weird…
“And then as far as the other thing he said that we’re a monopoly? Viacom is our competitor. They have a $40 billion market cap. $40 billion. I’m never going to see $40 billion for as long as I live. Neither will the UFC, so we’re not a monopoly either.
“So, everything Georges St. Pierre says is a little kooky. That’s the other thing too: I’m here, I’ve been in Atlanta, I’ve been on planes, and doing all this stuff. Lorenzo reached out to him and Lorenzo still hasn’t heard from him yet. If Georges St. Pierre wants to talk like a man he can pick up the phone and call us or come see us face-to-face, but everything that he said is ridiculous.”
Full results from UFC Fight Night 35 are below; click the links for video highlights from each fight.
UFC Fight Night 35 Main Card Results
- Luke Rockhold def. Costa Philippou via TKO, 2:31 of round 1
- Brad Tavares def. Lorez Larkin via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- TJ Dillashaw def. Mike Easton via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Yoel Romero def. Derek Brunson via TKO, 3:23 of round 3
- John Moraga def. Dustin Ortiz via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Cole Miller def. Sam Sicilia via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:54 of round 2
Preliminary Card Results:
- Ramsey Nijem def. Justin Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
- Elias Silverio def. Isaac Vallie-Flagg via unanimous decision (29-27 x 3)*
- Trevor Smith def. Brian Houston via split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Louis Smolka def. Alptekin Ozkilic via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Vinc Pichel def. Garett Whiteley via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Beneil Dariush def. Charlie Brenneman via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:45 of round 1
* Silverio had a point deducted for an illegal knee.