Michael Bisping is the UFC Middleweight Champion.
It seemed too crazy, too improbable, too insanely difficult to pull off, but Michael Bisping knocked Luke Rockhold out in the first round at UFC 199 to capture that title ten years after his debut in the organization.
Rockhold fought with complete disregard for anything Bisping could do in the fight, keeping his hands at his sides, his chin straight up. Despite that, he was beating Bisping up and hurting him through the opening 3:20 seconds, but it only took one counter-left hook to halt that momentum. Rockhold was trying to rush in after landing a hard and effective body kick, but Bisping caught him and staggered him, then dropped him with another left up against the cage. It was an incredible sequence, and Bisping finished it off with punches on the ground for the KO finish.
“I’ve strived for this my entire life,” Bisping said on the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show. “I believed I could do it. I sparred with Luke before, and I know sparring doesn’t count I did wipe the floor with him. In the fight, he got lucky, he caught me with that head kick. I wanted this rematch so bad, and I wanted a title fight so bad, so when the opportunity came on two weeks notice, I didn’t even think about… My power was better tonight because I had a shorter camp.”
Penick’s Analysis: This is such a surreal night. I didn’t for a second believe what we saw tonight was going to happen. It happened. I didn’t give Bisping nearly enough credit, I believed Rockhold wasn’t going to have an issue. Unfortunately for him, Rockhold believed that same thing, bought into his own hype, left himself open, and got beat. Michael Bisping is the first ever British UFC Champion. This is an incredible culmination of a ten-year career in the UFC, and an amazing story.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Attention iPhone/iPad and Android users, if you’ve enjoyed our app in the past and followed us there, or if you’ve never checked it out, make sure to update to the latest version in the Apple store and/or Google Play store. We’ve launched a new look for the app, in line with our recent desktop overhaul. Make sure to check it out!
For current App users, swipe right to view next article, swipe left to view previous article.