UFC 2 years ago

Bisping shocks the world with 1st-round KO of Rockhold to win UFC title

  • Bisping shocks the world with 1st-round KO of Rockhold to win UFC title

    INGLEWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Michael Bisping raises his arms to the crowd as he enters the cage for his middleweight championship bout at UFC 199 at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Michael Bisping did the impossible on Saturday night.

Defying all odds, "The Count" knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round of the UFC 199 main event to become the middleweight champion in his 26th UFC bout.

Few gave Bisping a chance when he stepped in to replace an injured Chris Weidman with just over two weeks to prepare for Rockhold, but the Briton never wavered in his belief that it was his destiny to not only compete for a world title but to win it.

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Bisping is the first Englishman to hold a UFC belt.

Many will speculate that Rockhold was affected by overconfidence, or perhaps it was an admitted leg injury, but the majority of the credit has to go to Bisping for the hammering left hands that put Rockhold to sleep against the Octagon fence at the 3:36 mark of Round 1.

Making the outcome even more shocking was that Bisping hadn't recorded a first-round knockout in almost eight years.

Bisping becomes the UFC's eighth middleweight champion and unquestionably it's most improbable. The 37-year-old has now won his last four fights and 29 overall, none bigger than Saturday night's main event.

The stunning setback gives Rockhold his first loss since his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort three years ago. He falls short in his first defense after capturing the belt from Weidman last December.

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