UFC 199 Preview Featuring Fighter Michael Bisping
UFC 199 features two title fights with revenge fueling the intensity of the matchups. The Main Card, which starts at 10pm EST live on Pay-Per-View, will see Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold defend his title in a rematch with 4th Ranked Middleweight Michael Bisping and the Co-Main Event features Bantamwieght Champion Dominick Cruz engaging in his third fight with number 2 ranked Bantamweight Urijah Faber.
Rockhold won the UFC Middleweight title back in December of 2015 when he defeated the previously unbeaten Chris Weidman. Rockhold, who before coming to the UFC was the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, was set for a rematch with Weidman but the former champion had to withdraw from the fight with an injury on May 17th. On two weeks notice Michael Bisping stepped up for the opportunity to fight for the title on the line.
Bisping has been fighting in the UFC since 2006 when he won The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 Tournament. Over the last decade Bisping has compiled a record of 18-7 in the UFC and has the most wins at 185 lbs in UFC history with 13 wins. But over the course of his time in the UFC, Bisping has never been afforded the opportunity to fight for a UFC title until Saturday night.
Bisping has won 3 straight fights and his last loss was to Rockhold back in 2014 by Submission in the 2nd round. Michael Bisping spoke with Sports Bash Saturday host Josh Hennig about his rematch with Rockhold:
"Listen Luke beat me the first time and congratulations well done but every fight is different and I'm going into this fight it's not unknown. I know exactly what I have in front of me; I sparred Luke one day, it was just me and him. Then we fought and as I say he got the better of me on that day. But I know Luke, I know we match up well. I'm taking this fight on short notice, I believe that's going to be a positive step for me. I always over train even thought I try not to I can't help it because fighting means so much to me and I believe I'm going to come into this fresh and stronger than I ever have been. So for me, Luke Rockhold is a tough cat, I understand he is a great fighter but it's not about beating Luke Rockhold, it doesn't matter who the opponent is. My opponent has no name, I have to go out there and fight to the best of my abilities, that is my biggest task at hand. If I do that I beat anybody and I become world champion....I believe I get the job done. As I've said, I know Rockhold's a tough guy but, BUT, he's only human, he's been knocked out before and he will be knocked out again."
As Bisping noted, Rockhold has been knocked out before: Rockhold's 2 career losses have been by Knockout and Technical Knockout.
The Co-Main event at UFC 199 is the third fight of a visceral trilogy between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber. Cruz lost their first matchup in 2007 when the two fought for the WEC Featherweight Title. Since the loss to Faber, Cruz has won 12 straight fights including becoming the inaugural UFC Bantamweight Champion in December 2010. Cruz won the rematch with his 135 pound title on the line via 5 round decision victory over Faber in 2011. Cruz suffered a major knee injury that required him to take off 3 years from MMA for surgeries and rehab. He returned in 2014 with an impressive Knockout victory and then regained his UFC Bantamweight Title in January of this year by beating T.J. Dillashaw.
Urijah Faber had a 25-4 record before coming to the UFC in 2011 and had won titles in every organization he fought within along the way. But championship gold has eluded Faber over the last five years as he is 0-3 in title fights and overall has a record of 9-4 in the UFC. At 37 years old, this may be his last shot at winning a UFC title and if he losses on Saturday night it will be interesting to see what is next for "The California Kid" who is also one of the top coaches at MMA Club Team Alpha Male.
Checkout more of Michael Bisping's interview with Josh Hennig in which he talks about being a British MMA Pioneer, his life outside of the Octagon, and he talks about what he likes/dislikes about living in the United States