It may come as somewhat of a surprise but heading into tonight's (Sat., Sept. 21, 2013) UFC 165: "Jones vs. Gustafsson" pay-per-view (PPV) event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, both Francis Carmont and Costa Philippou came into the evening riding five-fight win streaks in the middleweight division under the Zuffa banner.
Someone's run had to come to a screeching halt.
Not that he typically does, but Carmont seemed to play it relatively safe in the early going, earning a quick takedown and riding out the remainder of the first round from top position. It is, after all, the control center judges look on at so lovingly.
A couple of submission attempts from Philippou aside.
The second round began right where the first left off, with the French-Canadian taking his opponent down and working from there. It was thought going in that this would be a bangfest and someone would briefly have their senses switched off, but that simply wasn't the case.
Instead, we got Carmont establishing a more well-rounded game. Fans may not have appreciated it, but it was effective in the sense that, well, victory is what matters.
The third round was Philippou's final chance to make something happen. Instead, Carmont took him down again -- the third time of the fight, the first time Costa had ever given up that many takedowns in a single bout -- and did his work from on top.
Philippou may not be the top contender at middleweight some thought he was. Meanwhile, Carmont's smothering game won't earn him any new fans but it did inch him closer to a title shot.
The judges awarded the victory to Carmont on scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 30-26 for a unanimous decision.
For complete UFC 165 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.