If there is one takeaway from the Michael Bisping vs Luke Rockhold II fight, it’s that you should never, and I mean ever, underestimate your opponent. To quote one of the best MMA fighters of all time Georges ‘Rush’ St. Pierre, “Just because your champion, it doesn’t mean you’re Superman”, which was in reference to his first title defense where he lost to Matt Serra. Well, the fight between Bisping and Rockhold is no different.
Going into the fight, Luke Rockhold had all the reasons as to why he was so confident. He did beat Bisping after all. Their first encounter was at UFC Fight Night on 8th of November 2014. Rockhold was flawless with his technique, he was in and out and threw perfectly timed kicks; And by the second round, he caught Bisping with a head kick, which stunned him and gave an opening for a submission (Guillotine choke). The American finished the fight in the second round with a one handed guillotine choke with four minutes to spare.
Going into the bout, both had great momentum. Michael Bisping had a controversial win over the legendary Anderson Silva, while Rockhold had just been crowned the new UFC middleweight champion of the world by defeating Chris Weidman. Overall both fighters were full of confidence leading up to their fight. Bisping felt that it was his destiny to become world champion and Rockhold was positive that he was going to walk all over the challenger. The build up to this fight had so much animosity, it even carried on after the fight was over during the post-fight press conference.
On 4th June 2016, both men entered the Octagon. Rockhold had his chin up and hands down and was toying with the aging Bisping. The two traded blows and Rockhold seemed unphased by the Brit. Just under 90 seconds had passed when ‘The Count’, caught Rockhold with a left hook, which stunned him followed by another, which put him on the floor. It was followed by a series of punches. The fight was stopped at 01:24 (TKO) and finally, Michael Bisping had achieved his dream and become the new UFC middleweight champion.
Now the question is did Luke Rockhold’s arrogance go to his head and is this the reason why he lost or is there really such a thing called destiny? Needless to say, this was definitely one of the biggest upsets of the year as well the knockout of 2016.
Michael ‘Venom’ Page vs ‘Cyborg’ Santos, Bellator 158
Lando Vannata vs John Makdessi, UFC 206
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