By: Tim Mutohfan
Sydney, Australia’s Allphones Arena was the host to this UFC Fight Night even on November 7th. The main event featuring 2 stars of the UFC middleweight division, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping, and this is our recap of that event. Every fight on this card ended before its allotted time. Eleven fights, eleven finishes.
We start off in the main event, Rockhold vs. Bisping. This was an interesting matchup. Two top tier 185ers but going in opposite directions. We know Bisping beat Cung Le soundly…and rather easily. We pretty much expected him to. But the question was what did that win show us? Rockhold on the otherhand was coming off of 2 big wins himself (TKO over Costas Philippou and a Sub win over Tim Boetch). Rockhold was very much the rising commodity in this fight while we were still looking for a reason to believe Bisping is still viable in the middleweight division.
So there is our bit of backstory (minus the war of tweets), now to the actual fight. Fight started out with a lot of feelers from both men. Rockhold using his left body kick with regularity, and Bisping didn’t seem to have much in the way of an answer to it. A clash of heads and the cut that opened over Bisping’s left eye brought the fight to a pause. More body kick from Rockhold peppered the right side of Bisping’s body and you could tell early those kicks were going to tell a good story of this fight. Round 1 comes to an end and was a clear round in the books for Luke Rockhold.
Second round started much like the first round ended. Bisping doing his best to keep away from the cage and in the center of the Octagon, while Rockhold continued his kicking game. Only in this round Rockhold started to target Bisping’s head with those kicks, not just the body. Which proved to be the wise move as after a headkick (which at first glance it was hard to tell if it hurt Bisping or not) sent Bisping reeling into the cage and down to the mat. Rockhold pounced with some ground and pound before sinking in a guillotine choke for the submission victory, 57 seconds into round 2.
The co-main event featured two lightweights looking to hopefully crack the top 15 with a win. Ross Pearson who was coming off of a TKO win over Gray Maynard in his last fight was facing Al Iaquinta who was riding the wave of his own TKO win of Rodrigo Damm. This fight was met with some criticism as many card carrying members of the IMMAC (Internet Mixed Martial Arts Community) felt this was a major step back for Pearson and a fight too far over Iaquinta’s pay grade. Be that as it may, the fight was made.
Early on in the fight it did seem Pearson’s counterstriking would be something that was going to give Iaquinta problems. Pearson’s sharper striking and experience was showing its effects. Iaquinta had his moments but not enough to secure him the round.
The second round saw a more aggressive Iaquinta, pushing the pace, while trying to control the center of the Octagon. His raised output leading to good things as a straight right hand dropped Person and had him on unsure legs until Iaquinta finished him off 1:39 of round 2.
Middleweights Robert Whittaker and Clint Hester wasn’t much of a contest. Whittaker’s accuracy and power were showing early and often. Clint did have some moments’ but for the most part it was Whittaker’s skill that shined, in this TKO victory 2:43 of round 2.
Heavyweights Soa Palelei and Walt Harris opened the main card from Sydney. Harris was looking to get that first UFC win that has shown to be so elusive, Walt Harris is a skilled fighter but something has been missing. Whatever that might be didn’t show up in this fight, Palelei’s physicality showed to be the difference as Soa wins via TKO 4:49 of round 2.
UFC Fight Night 55: Rockhold vs. Bisping full results
Middleweight: Luke Rockhold def. Michael Bisping sub (guillotine choke) 0:57 R2
Lightweight: Al Iaquinta def. Ross Pearson TKO 0:57 R2
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Clint Hester TKO 1:39 R2
Heavyweight: Soa Palelei def. Walt Harris TKO 4:49 R2
Lightweight: Jake Matthews def. Vagner Rocha Sub. (rear-naked choke) 1:52 R2
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Perosh def. Guto Inocente Sub (rear-naked choke) 3:46 R1
Middleweight: Sam Alvey def. Dylan Andrews KO 2:16 R1
Flyweight: Louis Smolka def. Richie Vaculik TKO 0:18 R3
Welterweight: Chris Clements def. Vik Grujic TKO 4:06 R1
Middleweight: Daniel Kelly def. Luke Zachrich Sub (kimura) 4:27 R1
Bantamweight: Marcus Brimage def. Jumabieke Tuerxun KO 2:58 R1