With a turn of events, it looks like we have a new headliner for UFC 199: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping. Sure, we were looking forward to the rematch between Rockhold and Weidman, but this new rematch will still be a good fight.
Bisping is on a roll with four wins in his past five fights, the last of which was against Anderson Silva. His one loss in those five fights came from – you guessed it – Luke Rockhold. Granted, it wasn’t just any loss. It was a submission loss, which is hard to forget. Ever since, Rockhold has been dominating the division and destroying anyone that comes in his path. Bisping has done pretty well himself.
So here we have yet another rematch the UFC has so graciously given us. Can Bisping beat Rockhold? His chances aren’t great. But then again, we’ve seen time and time again that when it comes to UFC, anything is possible. It will be a great fight, and who knows, maybe Bisping will get his happy ending. Or not. This is really his only chance at the title shot, so needless to say, he better bring the heat. We know Rockhold will.
Fighter vs. Fighter
Enter Luke Rockhold. He’s so good he doesn’t even need a nickname. The Middleweight champion currently sits at a 15-2 record with his losses coming from Vitor Belfort and Tony Rubalcava.
Michael “The Count” Bisping has been around a little longer than Rockhold with his 29-7 record. He currently holds the #4 ranking in the Middleweight division.
|Luke Rockhold||Michael Bisping|
|From: Santa Cruz, California USA
Fights Out Of: Santa Cruz, California USA
Height: 6' 3" (190 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs. (84 kg)
Leg Reach: 45"
|Nickname: The Count
From: Manchester England
Fights Out Of: Manchester England
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs. (84 kg)
Leg Reach: 44"
Luke Rockhold has the obvious advantages: height and reach. He has strong kicking power and is the more dangerous striker because of his length. However, we’ve seen Bisping’s speed and volume drastically improve over the years, so if Rockhold doesn’t manage his distance and keep his hands up, Bisping will likely be able to connect with punches. There’s no doubt he can bring the pain.
Bisping is a solid jiu-jitsu practitioner, but Rockhold dominates that category. Bisping better hope the fight doesn’t end up on the ground – Rockhold has the serious advantage with his pressure and squeeze power. Bisping is good in and against the clinch, but Rockhold’s defense is stellar and he should be able to defend takedowns.
Another factor to consider is that this is last minute for Bisping, who has been filming a movie the past couple of months. He has to drop 20 pounds over the next two weeks. Plus, the first/last time he faced Rockhold, he was submitted in less than two rounds. All of these things have to be weighing on him.
Because of this, Rockhold will likely enter the fight with more confidence, but one thing we know about Bisping is the greater the challenge the harder he fights. He could be a real test for Rockhold.
However, in the grand scheme of things, Rockhold has the advantage, making it hard to bet against the champion.
Our Prediction: Luke Rockhold via Unanimous Decision
Attend UFC® 199
The UFC heads to Los Angeles for this rematch! Will we see you there? Watch Rockhold defend his belt against Bisping with an Official UFC VIP Experience Ticket Package. Attend in style with premium seating, VIP hospitality access, fighter meet & greets and more.