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Costas Philippou tells the UFC he has retired from competition

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the best middleweights in the UFC is calling it quits.

Costas Philippou is retiring from competition, UFC senior vice president of public relations Dave Sholler wrote Tuesday on Twitter. Philippou was removed from the UFC rankings this week, prompting speculation as to his status.

Philippou (13-5, 1 NC), a native of Cyprus, was one of the hardest hitting fighters in the division, owning knockout wins over Lorenz Larkin, Tim Boetsch and Jared Hamman. Philippou, 35, accumulated a 6-4 record in the UFC, once ran off five straight victories and also had a win over Uriah Hall in the Ring of Combat organization.

In his last four fights, the Long Island resident had just one victory, the Larkin knockout. The Bellmore Kickboxing product was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Gegard Mousasi in May.

Philippou is a former professional boxer who always excelled in fights standing, but struggled against wrestlers. Mousasi, Francis Carmont and Nick Catone all beat him by taking him down and staying in top position.