Round 1 - Lots of circling early. Rivera snaps off a low kick and then another. Philippou resets. Rivera ducks under a bunch and clinches, but Philippou pushes him into the cage. They jockey for position. Rivera tries to back out, but Philippou trips him to the mat. Philippou works from full guard, and Rivera ties him up from below. Rivera gets his back to the cage, but Philippou moves to half guard and pulls him away from the fencing and delivers some short punches. Rivera tries to get back up and eats a series of punches. But he's upright again. Philippou remains clinched, and the action stalls. Philippou works some knees to the gut, and the ref soon calls for a restart. Philippou throws a low kick and then closes the distance and clinches. The pace slows again while they're clinched against the cage. The boo birds have returned. Rivera reverses the position and fails at a trip-takedown before pushing away Philippou for the restart. Rivera lands a nice left-right combo and then clinches. Philippou balances with his back against the cage as Rivera tags him again. Philippou, though, answers with his own stiff shot. They restart in the center, and the action stalls. Philippou lunges forward with punches as the round ends. Not a ton of action, but MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Philippou.
Round 2 - Rivers lands a lunging right and avoids a counter. Philippou answers. They trade heavy blows, and Philippou tags and wobbles Rivera with a right. He follows up with more punches. The end could be near as Rivera is on his knees eating shots. Rivera, though, escapes and puts Philippou against the cage and unloads a nice stream of punches while Philippou's left arm is trapped. Philippou tries to get up and eats more punches. Philippou is to a knee and then upright. Rivera remains clinched, but Philippou soon reverses the position. They break and restart. Rivera appears to still be on shaky legs. Philippou clinches and delivers footstomps. Rivera ties him up, but Philippou gets through some short uppercuts. The ref calls for a restart when the action stalls, and Philippou immediately clinches and puts Rivera against the cage again. Rivera, though, scores the takedown, but Philippou secures an arm with his legs and then grabs an ankle. The awkward position gives Rivera no room to work, though Philippou also can do little with the position. The pace slows, but Philippou doesn't want to let go. Philippou rolls, but Rivera pops free. Philippou works from half guard, but the round ends shortly after. MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Philippou.
Round 3 - A touch of gloves gets the final frame underway. Philippou uncorks a nice combo. Rivera answers with a low kick but misses with a wild combo and then a head kick. Rivera lands a couple nice rights that stun Philippou. They clinch against the cage. On the break, both swing wildly. Philippou grabs a leg and then forces the fight to the mat. Philippou works from inside his opponent's guard and delivers punches to the head and body. Rivera throws up a triangle choke, but Philippou easily pops out and gets back to his feet. The tiring fighters trade sloppy punches, clinch again, jockey for position against the cage. Philippou works more footstomps, and the ref calls for a restart. They soon clinch again, and Philippou fails with a trip-takedown and hits his knes, and Rivera smothers him from above and looks for an opening. He throws some but mostly ineffective punches and then delivers a knee to the chest that was nearly an illegal strike. Philippou tries to get back to his feet, but Rivera clings to his legs to avoid it. Philippou slowly gets back to his feet. Philippou clings to him and pushes him into the cage. On the restart, Philippou lands a nice combo and gets a late-round takedown. MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Philippou. Constantinos Philippou def. Jorge Rivera via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)