Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping to Settle Bad Blood on November 8th
Bad Blood will be the key element of UFC Fight Night 55’s main event as former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold battles perennial contender Michael Bisping in a fight that will settle their differences once and for all.
The bad history between the two combatants can be traced to 2012 when Rockhold, who was then the Strikeforce middleweight champion, had a sparring session with Bisping, who was a UFC middleweight contender. According to reports, Bisping spilled the beans on Rockhold on national TV when he proclaimed via MMA Uncensored Live that he is the “Unofficial Strikeforce Champion”. That statement did not sit well with Rockhold who has kept that in his mind ever since.
When Rockhold moved to the UFC after the merger, he had two goals in mind: to win the UFC middleweight belt and to “punish” Michael Bisping. But in order to achieve the first goal, Rockhold has to accomplish the second one along the way.
A Dangerous Striker
At age 30, Luke Rockhold looks like he is at the peak of his game. After losing to Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut last year, he has posted back to back first round stoppage wins over Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch in 2014. At 6-3, The Sta. Cruz, California native is taller and is much rangier than the brash Bisping. But what makes Rockhold very dangerous is the fact that he uses his length to his full advantage by striking very well from a distance using a full arsenal of kicks and counter punches. Rockhold’s also excellent in the clinch and has a good submission game, although his defense is not airtight.
Bisping’s Impressive Output
On the opposite end, Bisping has always been known for his offensive output because he throws punches in bunches. During the Cung Le fight, the Count threw a lot of punch-low kick combinations to weaken Le in the later rounds. Overall, Bisping’s a very well rounded fighter but isn’t really excellent in one department. At age 35, this could very well be his last hurrah after he’s gone 3-3 in his last three fights and has not won two straight matches since 2011.
Rockhold is the younger, bigger and more athletic fighter in this match-up. He possesses all the skills and physical attributes to neutralize Bisping’s pace. With the bad blood between them, Rockhold has enough motive to punish Bisping in this five round bout. He is the big favorite at -420 while Bisping is the underdog at +335.
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