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UFC 199 fight card primer: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

In the main event at UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2, the UFC Middleweight championship is on the line as champion Luke Rockhold (15-2 MMA; 5-1 UFC) faces challenger Michael Bisping (28-7 MMA; 18-7 UFC). This five round fight caps off the five fight UFC 199 PPV main card. The UFC rankings have Bisping as the #3 contender at Middleweight, with champion Rockhold at #3 on the pound for pound list. UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 airs live from Los Angeles this Saturday, June 4. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 6:15 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

This is a late replacement fight, as UFC 199 was originally to be headlined by a Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman rematch for the title. When Weidman was injured, longtime UFC veteran Michael Bisping got the call up. It's an interesting pick, because Bisping is coming off the biggest win of his career, but he's also only a year and a half removed from a loss to Rockhold. He gets the chance to show he has learned from that first fight here.

How do these two stack up?

Rockhold: 31 years old | 6'3" | 77" reach

Bisping: 37 years old | 6'1" | 75" reach

What have these two done recently?

Rockhold: W - Chris Weidman (TKO) | W - Lyoto Machida (Sub) | W - Michael Bisping (Sub)

Bisping: W - Anderson Silva (UD) | W - Thales Leites (SD) | W - CB Dollaway (UD)

How did these two get here?

Luke Rockhold was the final Strikeforce champion who came to the UFC undefeated in 2013. He lost his UFC debut to Vitor Belfort, but he's been flawless ever since, winning 5 straight. And those 5 have been increasingly impressive, showing off his range of techniques with wins coming via body kick, "inverted triangle kimura" and more. He's submitted Lyoto Machida, and he's stopped Chris Weidman. In short, he's proven that the Belfort loss is a thing of the past, and that he is undeniably one of the sport's elite today. This is his first UFC title defense.

Michael Bisping is a 10 year UFC veteran. He's come close to title contention again and again but never earned the shot. Now, with a career best win over Anderson Silva behind him, he gets the long-desired title shot. For those who have watched the UFC for years, it's been somewhat strange to see Bisping develop from loud-mouthed and brash young gun into more stately veteran, but that's what has happened in his run. Like Rockhold, he has a very good all around game - one that has been underrated over the years. He's 3-0 since that loss to Rockhold.

Why should you care?

One of the best in the world defends his belt, and he does it against a man who knows this is almost certainly his one and only shot at UFC gold.

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