Rockhold KOs Philippou early at UFC Fight Night 35

Published on Thursday, 1/16/14, at 10:25 a.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Luke Rockhold’s Octagon debut didn’t go as planned. The former Strikeforce middleweight champ fell victim to a KO by spinning heel kick against Vitor Belfort in Brazil.

With a chance to redeem himself in another main event at UFC Fight Night 35 last night in Duluth outside of Atlanta, Rockhold took advantage and defeated Costas Philippou by first-round KO with a brutal liver kick. He earned the bonus for KO of the Night and hooked up his betting supporters as an expensive -360 favorite.

The ‘under’ (2.5 rounds) was an easy winner for a nice +140 return (paid $140 on $100 wagers).

In the co-main event, Brad Tavares defeated Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision (29-28 three times) in a middleweight scrap.

T.J. Dillashaw improved to 5-2 in the UFC by cruising to a UD win over Mike Easton as an expensive ‘chalk.’ Dillashaw dominated throughout with his versatile striking skills and should be in line to face a serious contender his next time out.

Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson waged the Fight of the Night in a back-and-forth affair. Romero rallied in the third and final round and finished the fight with vicious elbows to the body (Holy Late Stoppage!). Brunson won the first two rounds until Romero’s furious rally put him down. On Thursday, it was revealed that Brunson broke his jaw.

The Cuban middleweight improved to 3-0 in the UFC.

Cole Miller won Submission of the Night by choking out Sam Sacilia in the second round as a -130 favorite. Miller hit the rear naked after flooring Sacilia with several perfectly-landed strikes.

After recording his second straight win and third in his last four outings, Miller called out Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Miller said, “I want Donald ‘Clownboy’ Cerrone to come down to 145. Lay off the twinkies and cheeseburgers, homie.”

There were more fireworks following the event when UFC President Dana White took to the microphone. When asked about Georges St. Pierre’s recent comments about the UFC having a monopoly on MMA and the promotion’s lack of effort in getting PEDs out of the sport, White really let loose.

He pointed out how GSP is the one many have suspected of drug use through the years and added that he should, “Be a man and pick up the phone.” In summation, White called GSP’s remarks “shocking, weird and insane.”

When asked about the possibility of former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC, White said, “it’s definitely a possibility.” Lesnar is contractually bound to the WWE until early in 2015, so a return would come at the age of 38.

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