Ahead of Michael Bisping’s fight with Luke Rockhold, not many expected the fiery Englishman to stand much of a chance against the then middleweight champion.
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Given just 17 days notice due to Chris Weidman pulling out through injury, Bisping, who was working on a movie at the time, jumped at the chance to fight Rockhold for the title.
With the fighters trading insults relentlessly in the build up to the fight, tension reached boiling point at the weigh in, with their aggression ramping up. This subsequently sparked further interest in the bout that headlined UFC 199 back in 2016.
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Once the action kicked off, heavy favourite Rockhold started impressively by landing some solid kicks and punches, as the southpaw appeared to have the better of his adversary. With Rockhold feeling confident and looking good, the tough as nails Bisping took advantage of a lapse from his opponent to land a wicked hook before unleashing a flurry of punches which led to the fight being stopped.
Bisping’s unlikely triumph was incredibly his first title in the UFC, thus ending his decade long search to become champion. Following the entertaining first round stoppage, Bisping’s delight was evident, with him stating: “I’m an average guy. More than average. This is my dream. No one was going to take this away from me. Two days, two hours, two minutes. I’ll fight anyone, anywhere. Amazing.”
“Obviously, I am so happy right now. I started fighting when I came out of my mother, really. I have always been a fighter. It has always got me in trouble. But there is nothing I do better in this life than fighting.”
Beating the odds in style, the triumph also saw him become the first Englishman to win a UFC title on a night where the man recently inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame cemented himself as one of the best fighters ever in the sport.