Canadian Nick Ring will get a bigger spotlight at UFC 154 in Montreal.
The Calgary middleweight’s bout against Costa Philippou has been promoted to the main card of the Nov. 17 show at the Bell Centre, bumping the scheduled light-heavyweight tilt between former Strikeforce fighter Chad Griggs and Cyrille Diabate to the televised undercard.
Ring (11-2, 4-1 in the UFC) is coming off a controversial decision win at home over Court McGee at UFC 149 on July 21 in Calgary. His only loss in the Octagon was in his previous bout against Tim Boetsch last September. It will be Ring’s first UFC pay-per-view.
Philippou (13-1, 3-1 in the UFC) has won four in a row since losing his UFC debut to Nick Catone in March 2011.
With a combined 7-2 record, their matchup was inserted on the pay-per-view in favour of one involving a fighter coming off a loss (Griggs) in his Octagon debut — when he fought at heavyweight — and the other (Diabate) having lost two of his past four.
Ring also gained notoriety this summer for breaking up an attack on a couple in downtown Calgary in June. He was later jokingly touted by the media as a “super-hero.”
Be sure to visit Sportsnet.ca later this week as Ring will be our “Ultimate Blogger” ahead of UFC 154.
The timing of the matchup is interesting; Philippou’s last two opponents, Fukuda and McGee, have also lost to Ring — both were decisions that many believed should not have gone to the Ring.
His addition makes it three Canadians on the main card, as he joins 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre of Montreal and Thamesford, Ont.’s Mark Hominick. UFC 154 is headlined by the welterweight title unification bout between St-Pierre and Carlos Condit, while Hominick kicks off the PPV in a featherweight bout against Pablo Garza.
Also, Frenchman Francis Carmont, who lives in Montreal and trains full-time at Tristar, meets Tom Lawlor in a middleweight bout. The co-main event contest between top welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks rounds out the main card.
A total of nine Canadians, plus Montreal resident Francis Carmont, are featured at UFC 154.
NOTES: UFC officials announced Monday that Matt Riddle will replace an injured Stephen Thompson in a preliminary bout against Besam Yousef. Riddle just finished serving a 90-day suspension for a positive test for marijuana following his win over Chris Clements at UFC 149. Riddle had a medical card but failed to disclose it; the result of his July 20 fight was changed to a no-contest.