3. Michael Bisping Over Luke Rockhold
This is the one freshest in our memories, and it comes in at #3 in our ranking of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
Prior to the their second meeting at UFC 199 in June 2016, Luke Rockhold had already thrashed Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 55 in November 2014. The two had a relatively competitive first round during which Bisping stayed on his bike to avoid engaging with the much more powerful Rockhold. In the second though, Rockhold blasted “The Count” with a head kick before jumping on his dazed foe and sinking in a mounted guillotine.
Since then, Rockhold had ripped the middleweight championship from former champ Chris Weidman. The two were set to rematch at UFC 199, but a frightening neck injury forced Weidman to pull out about three weeks out from the fight.
Forever the tough out, Bisping had since authored a new three-fight winning streak, culminating in a close win over the fading but legendary Anderson Silva. With the higher ranked contenders unavailable – “Jacare” Souza was hurt and Yoel Romero suspended – Bisping finally had the title shot that had so long eluded him.
Not many gave Bisping much of a chance in his rematch with Rockhold. The champion was the harder hitter, especially at range and on the ground, and his grappling was suffocating and aggressive. But “The Count’s” ever-improving boxing and veteran craftiness was the ace up his sleeve on fight night.
Bisping, who had never been known for one-shot power, dropped Rockhold with a left hook he never saw coming, hit him with another as he tried to rise, and polished off Rockhold’s brief title reign with a flurry of follow-up punches. In doing so, Bisping became one of the most unlikely champions in modern UFC history.