Michael Bisping is the UFC middleweight champion. For real.
Let that sink in for a moment. Michael Bisping, the man who got H-bombed by Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in 2009, the man who Luke Rockhold easily stopped on Fight Pass and Tim Kennedy easily grinded out two years ago, the man who has always been known as the number one middleweight gatekeeper, is the champion.
And he did it on short notice, too. The 37-year-old was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada filming the movie "xXx" when he received the call he had been waiting for his entire legendary career. The call from the UFC asking if he would rematch Rockhold for the middleweight championship.
I guess leaving the movie-set paid off, as on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 199 live from The Forum in Inglewood, Californa, Bisping defeated rival Rockhold by first-round knockout in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.
What was the highlight of this fight?
The pair of left shots that dropped and finished Rockhold and allowed Bisping to finally capture UFC gold were the highlight of the highly anticipated rematch. Enough said.
Where do these two go from here?
The UFC middleweight division just got a whole lot more interesting with this massive upset and new crowned champion in Bisping. It's tough to predict how long Bisping will reign the division, but history would indicate, not very long. After Anderson Silva was dethroned in 2013, we have had three new champions -- Chris Weidman, Rockhold and now Bisping. And the latter two won the belt in the past six months. Plus, there are some animals at the top of the 185-pound division, including Yoel Romero and Ronaldo Souza. Depending how long Weidman is out injured, I could see Bisping defending his belt for the first time in his homeland of England against either Jacare or Romero next. And if Bisping is able to defend his title once or twice, and Rockhold is able to rebound with one or two wins, which he probably will, we could see the rubber match within the next couple years -- or months, because the UFC likes its automatic rematches.
Watch now, later, or never?
Bisping just did the impossible. He won the UFC middleweight championship ... in stunning fashion. Watch Bisping vs. Rockhold II now.