Sunday, 5 June 2016

Early Lead UFC 199 recap: Bisping knocks out Rockhold for middleweight crown; Cruz defends title

Michael Bisping waited 26 UFC fights for his chance at a title. Once he entered the octagon for the middleweight title fight with Luke Rockhold, the England native waited just 3 minutes 36 seconds before claiming a knockout victory.

“That was easy. That was the easiest fight of my life,” Bisping said into the camera after the fight, proudly sowing off his union jack mouth piece.

Rockhold lost balance by over-swinging, allowing Bisping to catch the champion with a combination of punches to the chest and head. Once Rockhold retreated on his back feet, Bisping ended the fight with a powerful left hand.

“I got to be humble here even though I want to be an a–hole. Thank you all for being here, I am obviously so happy right now. I have been a fighter since I came out of my mother, really,” Bisping told Joe Rogan. “People say I got no punching power. I knew I could punch.”

“I could have capitalized and fought my fight instead of playing around with him. He’s a tough guy he’s a warrior,” Rockhold said after the fight.

Cruz again defends title vs. Faber

NWA’s “California love” welcomed Urijah Faber to the octagon. Once inside, the “California Kid” found no such sentiment from fellow Californian rival Dominick Cruz. In the duo’s rubber match third fight, Cruz rode a stinging left hand landed in the second round for a unanimous decision victory, 50-45, 50-45, 49-46.

“Congrats to Cruz. What a performance,” Faber said after the fight.

In the first round, not much to separated Faber and Cruz. Faber took the initiative from the start but was unable to take advantage of a take-down opportunity midway through the round. Cruz recovered nicely by scrambling out of Faber’s grasp without much damage.

Cruz cranked up the intensity in the second round, landing a strong left hand in the first minute that proved to be the biggest shot of the round. As Faber lay on the ground, he was able to catch a charging Cruz with an up-kick to avoid a potential knockout. Cruz became more aggressive with his kicks as the round wore on, but Faber successfully maneuvered around the taller fighter to see out the round.

The third round turned out relatively uneventful as the fighters kept healthy distance between them. After getting stung hard in the second round by Cruz’s big left hand, Faber looked more timid than he did in the opening round.

Faber was 7-7 in five round fights but just 1-5 in fights that go the distance. With the victory, Cruz is 7-0 in five-round fights that last the full 25 minutes.

Holloway unanimous winner over Lamas

Max Holloway proved mature beyond his years as he out-foxed an opponent 10 years his elder during his victory over Ricardo Lamas by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Holloway controlled the fight, remaining in the center of the octagon as Lamas dodged punches and kicks around the outside. Well aware that he was about to lose a decision, Lamas went into full attack mode for the final 10 seconds. A furious exchange of free-swinging punches lasted until the final bell.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get to finish guys,” Holloway told Joe Rogan. “Who here wants to see a Hawaiian fight for a belt?”

The 24-year-old “Pride of Hawaii” safely landed punches early and often against the 34-year-old Lamas. In the second half of the opening round, Holloway successfully fought off several take-down attempts to finish the round relatively unscathed.

Holloway continued to have the upper hand in the second round. Holloway landed an barrage of punches as he backed the shorter fighter into the corner; Lamas escaped. In the final minute, Holloway had Lamas in a perilous choke hold but was unable to get a solid grip on his opponent’s neck.

McGregor-Diaz set for UFC 202

Henderson levels Lombard for KO

Dan Henderson, age 45, is the oldest active fighter in UFC, and is again a winner in the octagon.

If that’s not impressive enough, check out the beating he survived from Hector Lombard in Round 1 en route to his victory. Midway through the round, Lombard connected with a left hand and took Henderson to the ground. After Henderson nearly got caught in an arm bar, he regained his feet and finished the round.

A minute into the second round, Lombard had landed 30 significant strikes to Henderson’s 14. That’s when the veteran started making his strikes count.

Henderson caught Lombard with a swinging kick before knocking him out with a back elbow. As Lombard lay out cold, Henderson got one last punch in for good measure.

“I’m in trouble that first round, he knocked me on my butt. I weathered the storm and regrouped second round,” Henderson told Joe Rogan after the fight. “That could have been the last one of my career.”

Henderson’s wife and four children joined him in the ring to pose for photos after the fight.

Poirier shuts up Green
Bobby Green talks the talk but couldn’t walk the walk in his lightweight bout with Dustin Poirier. Less than two minutes into the fight, Green spread his arms to talk some smack and was promptly knocked to the ground by a few swift punches.

Wood was able to regain his feet, but the California native never got back into the fight. Poirier knocked Wood out with 2:53 remaining in the first round.

“He was dropping a little profanity saying I didn’t know how to punch. He should have brought a pillow,” Poirier told Joe Rogan shortly after the fight.

“It’s Always Sunny” in the Octagon?

Sweet D and Mac hi-jinxed their way into some pretty sweet seats for tonight’s event.

When they’re not running Paddy’s Pub into the ground on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, Kaitlin Olson and Rob McelHenney are married in real life. Mac does not appear to have his “Riot” T-shirt on as he sits cage-side, but he remains viable to enter the octagon. Could fact “Fat Mac” be a potential heavyweight opponent for Brock Lesnar’s return?

(Joking aside, Gerard Butler, who was also in attendance, could probably do pretty well in a fight.)

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