Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping is undoubtedly the biggest MMA beef to land in Australia….
UFC middleweights Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping will do battle in the main event at UFC Fight Night 55, in a battle between fairly matched 185-pounders. In a fight that will really help make either man’s case for a title shot, the tensions have been running high for months now.
Michael Bisping, in my opinion, has some of the most under rated striking in the UFC; and he proved that in bucket loads against Cung Le. “The Count” outstruck the “Better striker”, bashing a hole in the Vietnamese Sanshou master’s face and showing some slick techniques in doing so. I actually feel like the striking is pretty much even here.
Luke Rockhold has some powerful kicks, and very well rounded MMA striking. Whether he’ll want to try and keep pace with Bisping all night is debatable, but I don’t think he is outmatched by any means. Neither men are really big finishers with the striking in recent outings, and I’m calling this one 50-50
Here is where I feel “Rocky” will want to drag Bisping, just as his fellow Strikeforce crossover Tim Kennedy did. Bisping has improved offense and defense in the wrestling department, but does not deal well with being pressured against the fence. As much as the trash talk would argue the opposite, I’m sure Rockhold would be more than happy to win this fight in the clinch or guard.
Training with guys like Jon Fitch, Cain Velasquez, Dan Cormier and everyone else at AKA also adds to the advantage here, I’m calling it 70-30 “Rocky”
Although neither man has ever shown weakness in this department, once again Luke Rockhold has more practical experience in both MMA and traditional grappling competitions. A black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rockhold has a 50% submission ration with 6 from 12. “Rocky” is also a two-time IBJJF submission grappling champion, as a blue and purple belt in 2007.
Bisping hasn’t scored, or possibly attempted, a submission since 2005. As I said, I don’t feel “The Count” is particularly vulnerable to being choked or snapped, but my judgement also reflects offensive output. 60-40 Rockhold
So Rockhold is really at an advantage if he can get this fight to the mat, which I believe he will look to do relentlessly. It could be a long night for Bisping in Australia, but every fight starts standing….