Michael Bisping shocked the world with a first round TKO of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in Los Angeles, California.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Bisping used a clean left hook to knock down Rockhold, then followed it up with strikes to force referee John McCarthy to call the bout 3:36 into the very first round.
Rockhold was winning the fight until then, mostly with kicks to the body. But as Joe Rogan repeatedly said, he left his head straight up where Bisping could connect and it cost him.
It’s an upset victory that the late Muhammad Ali might have smiled at. After all, Bisping took on the fight on short notice and was the heavy underdog despite defeating Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 84.
Rockhold and Bisping had another testy exchange in the post-fight press conference, as did Cruz and Urijah Faber.
Polos Reyes and Dong Hyun Kim earned Fight-of-the-Night with performances of the night going to Bisping and Dan Henderson. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews runs down the card:
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS
POLO REYES VS DONG HYUN KIM
WINNER: POLO REYES VIA TKO R3 1:52
ANDREWS PREDICTION: POLO REYES VIA TKO
Andrews: Just a fun fight with big pockets of intoxicating exchanges. I hope both fighters get discretionary bonuses for their performances. Excellent fight!
KEVIN CASEY VS ELVIS MUTAPCIC
WINNER: MAJORITY DRAW (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ELVIA MUTAPCIC VIA TKO
Andrews: Muhammad Ali was Kevin Casey’s father-in-law. He was fighting with a heavy heart, and considering that, he did well. But so did Elvis who escaped some mounts to get the improbable comeback draw. Both guys gassed out in the third round.
Andrews Prediction: Elvis Mutapcic via TKO
JONATHAN WILSON VS LUIS HENRIQUE DA SILVA
WINNER: LUIS HENRIQUE DA SILVA VIA TKO R2: 4:11
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JONATHAN WILSON VIA TKO
Andrews: Both guys went for it and Da Silva had enough in the tank to outlast Wilson. Good fight and great win for Da Silva.
SEAN STRICKLAND VS TOM BREESE
WINNER: SEAN STRICKLAND VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TOM BREESE VIA SPLIT-DECISION
Andrews: Close, technical fight. The third round late takedown and flurry by Strickland sealed the win. Good fight that I would study if I were a striker.
TSN 5 PRELIMS
COLE MILLER VS ALEX CACERES
WINNER: ALEX CACERES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX CACERES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Caceres dominated on the feet and Miller had a good third round, almost submitting Caceres with the armbar, but it wasn’t enough. Just a good win for Bruce Leeroy.
#6 JESSICA PENNE VS JESSCIA ANDRADE
WINNER: JESSICA ANDRADE VIA TKO R2 2:56
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JESSICA PENNE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: I really thought Penne would figure out a way to get it to the ground, but Andrade was too strong and slick on the feet. Penne needs to drastically improve her striking if she wants to stay relevant in the strawweight division.
#10 BENEIL DARIUSH VS JAMES VICK
WINNER: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA TKO R2
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMES VICK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Dariush was just smart, countering Vick’s aggressiveness with timely counter left hooks. Vick is a tough customer but the ref hd to stop it.
#12 BRIAN ORTEGA VS CLAY GUIDA
WINNER: BRIAN ORTEGA VIA TKO R3 4:40
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRIAN ORTEGA VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Ortega once again waited till the end of the fight to catch Guida with strikes and a nice knee that Guida ducked into, to end the fight. Good win for Ortega, but he might want to start quicker.
#11 DUSTIN POIRIER VS #13 BOBBY GREEN
WINNER: DUSTIN POIRIER VIA TKO R1 2:53
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DUSTIN POIRER VIA TKO
Andrews: The skills of Poirier were the difference as we knew both guys were tough. As simple as that. Great win for The Diamond.
#15 DAN HENDERSON VS #14 HECTOR LOMBARD
WINNER: DAN HENDERSON VIA TKO R2 1:27
ANDREWS PREDICTION: HECTOR LOMBARD VIA TKO
Andrews: Dan Henderson almost finished the fight in the first round only to almost get finished himself. Then, in Round two he landed a nice headkick along with an Anderson Silva King of the Cage elbow to seal the deal. Hard luck for Lombard, I really thought he would get it done, but although it may be his last fight, Hendo still has some gas in the tank.
#4 MAX HOLLOWAY VS #5 RICARDO LAMAS
WINNER: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Holloway was just better on the feet than Lamas, who had a good third round, but it just wasn’t enough. Great win for Max.
DOMINICK CRUZ VS #2 URIJAH FABER
WINNER: DOMINICK CRUZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DOMINICK CRUZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Faber did his best, but Cruz pretty much duplicated the last fight but added more power in some shots, knocking down Faber in the process. A bitter pill for Faber to swallow, but Cruz was the better fighter tonight.
LUKE ROCKHOLD VS #4 MICHAEL BISPING
WINNER: MICHAEL BISPING VIA TKO R1 3:36
ANDREWS PREDICTION: LUKE ROCKHOLD VIA TKO
Andrews: Unbelievable. Rockhold seemed in control with kicks to the body, but as Joe Rogan mentioned, he was leaving his head straight up, where Bisping could reach it. Then Bisping landed a left hook and then knocked him and forced the referee to stop it with strikes. Rock hold was clearly overconfident and he paid for it. Excellent moment for Bisping.