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Bisping stuns Rockhold for middleweight title

Nobody saw it coming but Michael Bisping shocked Luke Rockhold to win the middleweight championship with a first round knockout at UFC 199.

Nobody saw it coming but Michael Bisping shocked Luke Rockhold to win the middleweight championship with a first round knockout at UFC 199.

An overhand left hit perfectly on Luke Rockhold’s jaw staggard the champion back, some following up punched pushed him back to the cage, and another overhand left dropped him.

As a late fill-in opponent for Rockhold after Chris Weidman had to pull out of the title fight with an injury, Michael Bisping pulled off one of the biggest championship upsets in UFC history by knocking out the guy who just beat the former champion into oblivion last winter. But finally, his long, long journey in the UFC has brought him to the promise land as the middleweight champion.

Bisping took the long, grueling road to become a UFC champion. He debuted 10 years ago at The Ultimate Fighter 3 and fought just about everyone there is to fight and has always been a polarizing figure because he is so brash. But whenever he was in a title eliminator, he came up just short.

But it was that desire to finally fight in a championship fight that kept motivating him to get better, and after losing to Rockhold on Nov. 7, 2014, he won three-straight victories to rise back up to the No. 4 ranking in the division, which made it possible for him to get picked as a late fill-in opponent. Bisping finally had the title fight that evaded him for so long and at the age of 37, he was not going to waste it.

He went out aggressive, picked his moments and rocked Rockhold with his powerful left hook twice to become a champion in just 1:23.

Now, Bisping’s decade long career has brought him to the top. All the words he spilt over his career have made him one of the most polarizing figures in the sport, but he backed it all up and sent a shockwave through the middleweight division. Rockhold was supposed to easily defend his title against Bisping, they fight Weidman in a rematch with the winner probably fighting Jacare Souza after that. But Bisping scrapped those plans as now he’s ‘King’ Bisping.

Cruz defends against rival Faber

Dominic Cruz

Dominic Cruz got thrown around a little bit early in the fight against his long-time rival in their rubber match for the UFC bantamweight champion, but he settled in and … pardon the pun … cruised to a victory in his first title defense since winning the belt back earlier this year.

His speed and agility made him hard for Faber to his, and his quick-snap led to three takedowns as Faber wore down over five rounds.

It was clear early in the fight that Faber wasn’t going to be able to match Cruz. The California Kidd lifted Cruz up and slammed him down in the first round, but Cruz won the immediate scramble to get on top of him. He was just too quick and aggressive and in the second round he out-landed him a lop-sided 23-6 with one of those punched knocking Faber down.

Cruz was able to keep his distance from Faber and out-landed him 99-49 in strikes and 87-34 in significant strikes while taking him down three times to one.

At the end of the fight, Faber said it may have been his last time in the octagon, but was not ready to make that decision just yet. The 37-year-old has been one of the biggest draws in mixed martial arts for over a decade and he has fought 42 career fights. He has nothing more to prove, but in this fight, Cruz got the best of him and once again avenged the only loss of his career by taking the third-fight of their series that went 10 years.

Holloway shuts out Lamas for decision win

Max Holloway

It’s becoming more and more impossible to keep Max Holloway away from the featherweight title. He’s only 24-years-old, but is very clearly one of the very best in the business after winning his ninth-straight fight that includes wins over big names like Andre Fili, Cole Miller, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens and now Ricardo Lamas.

Holloway aggressiveness had Lamas overwhelmed. Holloway just kept coming and rocking Lamas with big shots and never let him into the fight. Holloway out-landed Lamas 111-66 in strikes and 103-64 in significant strikes.

Holloway has been calling for a title fight for quite some time now and beating a former title challenger that impressively had to get him one. The problem is that we still have to wait for the winner of Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar to fight Conor McGregor sometime later in the year in an undisputed championship fight. Then there is always a possibility of that being a rematch, or a rubber match with Nate Diaz. So who knows how long it could be before Holloway gets his shot. At least the bright side is that he is so young.

Holloway has a very bright future ahead of him that is just starting and he said that as long as he keeps doing what he is supposed to be doing and winning fights, he knows the title shot will come. And you have to know, it sure will come.

Hendo KOs Lombard in what may be final fight

Dan Henderson

Herb Dean gives fighters the benefit of the doubt. He’ll never be one to stop a fight too fast. He let Henderson take a beating, but as long as he was attempting to defend intelligently and showed signs of awareness, he let the fight go on. Henderson should be thankful. That fight easily could have been stopped as Hector Lombard was brutalizing Henderson in the first round. Then he was almost submitted, but survived that too.

But in the second round, the old veteran swung his leg around and crashed his foot right on Lombards’ temple. He was out there, but another elbow to the face to his floored opponent left no doubt. Dean had to stop the fight then.

After the victory Henderson emotionally said he didn’t know what would happen next him his career and said he would weight all the options before making a final decision, but after a 20-year career of professional fighting, who would be surprised if the 45-year-old future Hall of Famer calls it a career.

Poirier stays perfect in lightweight return

Dustin Poirier

After a quick loss to Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier realized he wasn’t going to achieve great success at the featherweight division. He could be good, but he was naturally too big to be fighting those guys. He wasn’t as quick and he didn’t have as much endurance. So he made a wise decision to return to lightweight, and it has been a tremendous decision.

Since he moved back up to lightweight, Poirier has rattled off four-straight wins with his latest being a first round TKO of Bobby Green at just the 2:53 mark.

Green tried to counter-punch Poirier, but the rising star of the division kept throwing long combinations that neutralized Green’s strategy. At the end of one of those combinations, Poirier sent Green to the canvas and was unresponsive when he was being hit with some more punched while he was laying down face first. It was over.

Poirier went into the fight as the No. 11 ranked lightweight in the UFC but with the win figures to get a push up a bit more and possibly a fight with maybe an Anthony Pettis or Michael Johnson next before getting truly vaulted into the title picture.

Ortega’s late knee end Guida

Brian Ortega

Clay Guida outworked and frustrated Brian Ortega for the entire fight and was only moments away from hearing the final bell and having his name called as the victor by judges decision, but Ortega took advantage of an opening and with 20 seconds left in the fight, landed a knee right to Guida’s face and ended the fight suddenly with a knockout.

Guida was successful keeping his distance against Ortega, and mixing up his punched and kicks, but knowing he was behind on the scorecard, Ortega just went for it all in the final round. Then, with 23 seconds left he missed a wide right hook, but that brought Guida’s head down and forward and all Ortega did was lift up his knee, caught the veteran and sent him crashing to the mat in a hurry.

Dariush gets impressive KO win over James Vick

Beniel Dariush

Beneil Dariush probably should be better than he is. It is easy to see he has the necessary tools to be a very good fighter, but he hasn’t put it all together. Last summer he had a very questionable split decision win over Michael Johnson where he really shouldn’t have won because he was just way too timid in the fight. Then, he got submitted by Michael Chiesa in a one-sided fight in April.

But his first round knockout of James Vick was easily his most complete performance. He had to deal with being poked in the eye, but that didn’t stop his dominant first round knockout. It was not just a lucky shot either. Dariush hurt Vick early with a hard kick to the body at the very beginning of the fight. Then, ever he recovered from being poked in the eye he kept the pressure on with a series of punched to Vick’s face. At the end of the series a left hand wobbled Vick, a flurry kept him staggered and another left dropped him to end the fight.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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