Rematch Analysis: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping 2

Mike Kolbe
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Rematch Analysis: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 

Our rematch analysis takes a look at high-profile rematches and presents a fact-based analysis on both fighters featured. Statistics include pre-fight factors that may affect the upcoming bout, pre-fight and post-fight factors that may have affected the previous bout, and a breakdown of how both fighters have fared since the last match-up.

At UFC 199, Luke Rockhold will lock horns with Michael Bisping in a rematch between the two middleweights. In this Rematch Analysis, we breakdown both Rockhold and Bisping’s records between their first bout in Sydney and their upcoming fight this Saturday in Inglewood, California.

Previous Bout Breakdown

Initial Fight Result: Luke Rockhold def. Michael Bisping via R2 Submission (guillotine choke, 0:57)
Time Since Initial Fight: 571 days (Nov. 8th, 2014)

The first fight between the two took place in Sydney Australia and was announced approximately two months prior to the event, a stark contrast to the two weeks the two fighters have to prepare for each other this time around. No injuries, opponent changes, or date changes were noted prior to the UFC Fight Night 55 headliner.

With sufficient time to prepare, the duo stood for the majority of the first frame in a fairly even contest. The second round, however, saw Rockhold find success with a head kick early, hurting Bisping and leading to a takedown and eventually a one-armed guillotine from mount, forcing the tap from the English fighter. After the bout, no injuries were disclosed from either fighter. Additionally, both fighters had all tests come back clean.

Previous Winner Breakdown: Luke Rockhold

Overall MMA Record: 15-2

MMA Record Since Bisping Fight: 2-0

Rematch Record: 0-0-0

Significant Bouts Since Bisping Fight: 
Win – Chris Weidman – R4 TKO (Strikes)- Won middleweight title
Win –Lyoto Machida – R2 submission (rear-naked choke)

Rockhold, although known to fight injured or sick in the past, typically will not disclose anything until after the fight is over. The only potentially fight-changing variable known in the media is the opponent switch, a concern Bisping also shares. The advantage Rockhold carries over Bisping, however, is that he has had a complete camp, even though most of it was geared towards a rematch with Chris Weidman.

Previous Loser Breakdown: Michael Bisping

Overall MMA Record: 28-7

MMA Record Since Rockhold Fight: 3-0

Rematch Record: 2-0
*One of the rematches included took place on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter against Ross Pointon, officially labeled as an exhibition bout.

Significant Bouts Since Rockhold Fight:
Win– Anderson Silva – decision (unanimous)
Win– Thales Leites- decision (split)
Win– CB Dollaway- decision (unanimous)

Like Rockhold, Bisping has only had about two weeks to prepare for this specific opponent. The difference, as mentioned before, is the fact that Bisping has not had any sort of fight camp prior to those two weeks.

Bisping has stated, however, that he has worked to keep his weight under control to look good on camera while shooting the the new XXX movie alongside Vin Diesel up in Canada. The significance of that type of training is up for debate, but during a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, ‘The Count’ indicated that his weight is “as well managed as it would be in a full fight camp, minus the usual wear and tear.”

Final Thoughts

Although Bisping’s current record in rematches appears promising, it is important to note that both rematches took place after a win, the rematch this Saturday will be the Englishman’s first coming off of an initial loss in a fight series. Moreover, since the first bout with Rockhold, Bisping has had all three of his bouts go the distance, two of which were 25 minutes, which can lend to the notion that a drawn-out fight may swing in Bisping’s favor. Looking over Rockhold’s  record, however, it is hard to bypass the fact that he has not had a bout go the distance since 2012, furthering the idea that if the challenger can drag the champion into deeper water, he may be able to gain an advantage.

The first bout between the two featured a back-and-forth opening frame up until an alleged headbutt from Rockhold, which Bisping blames for the sudden shift in moment towards the end of the opening frame and beginning of the second, ultimately leading to the finish. If all accidents are avoided, and the challenger is able to successfully take the champion into the later rounds, a significantly higher chance of a Bisping victory presents itself. If the bout runs it’s course in a similar fashion to their initial meeting, with Rockhold damaging Bisping early on, it is likely we see the champion do what he does best and seize the opportunity for a finish.

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