For some time, critics and opponents of Michael Bisping have pointed to his record to support their argument that he doesn’t possess KO power. Luke Rockhold has also taken that position. Well, after last night, some folks are likely re-examining that argument.
Yes, not only did Bisping shock the world last night by defeating the heavily favored Rockhold, he took the middleweight champ out in the opening round. Leading up to UFC 199, Bisping said he was going to be chucking heavy punches and would finish the dynamic fighter. He did just that.
Following the thrilling win, Bisping told FOX Sports 1 the following, on how he set up the KO (quote via FOX Sports press release):
“I was reading his shots very well. I could see it coming. He was telegraphing his movements. I’m actually left handed and have more power with my left hand, but I stand orthodox when I fight. When I landed the first one, I knew I had to finish it. I got a couple more shots on him. He was out. I went to shake his hand afterward and he said he had already shook my hand. I said don’t be bitter after I took your belt.”
“I’ve always known I was at this level. I’ve had my ups and downs,” Bisping also relayed in the interview. “I’ve lost some fights along the way. I don’t want to get in the performance-enhancing-drugs stage of my career. I always knew I had the ability.”
This is interesting to hear, particularly since Rockhold also acknowledged that he under estimated Bisping. Having been taken out by his rival, you would think Rockhold will be a little more cautious, defensive minded, if and when the rubber match happens.
Speaking of which, at the post-fight press conference, both men made it clear they’d be down for a third bout. Now it remains to be seen if the UFC goes with that first, or if they have Chris Weidman face Bisping in his first title defense.