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UFC Fight Night 55: Biggest winners, losers from 'Bisping vs Rockhold' in Sydney

Let's runs down the list of “Who’s Hot” and “Who’s Not” from UFC Fight Night 55: "Bisping vs Rockhold," which took place last night (Fri., Nov. 7, 2014), nominating the biggest winners and losers from the UFC Fight Pass event inside Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Fight Pass last night (Fri., Nov. 7, 2014) for the sensational UFC Fight Night 55: "Bisping vs Rockhold" event live from inside Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. The historic card was typified by highlight-reel finishes in every single bout that will surely make the event remembered for years to come.

In the main event, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping settled their feud with a one-sided beatdown courtesy of the former Strikeforce champion. The first round saw Rockhold bait Bisping in and learn his timing, and the American came out with a purpose in the second to finish the fight. After landing a devastating head kick that wobbled Bisping, Rockhold pounced on the Brit before latching onto the fight ending guillotine.

Check our full fight recap right here!

In the co-main event, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 runner-up, "Raging" Al Iaquinta, notched his biggest career victory by knocking out former TUF winner Ross Pearson in the second round. Iaquinta plotted his shots beautifully before finishing off "Real Deal" with a violent barrage of punches.

Also featured on the main card were (technical) knockout victories for Robert Whitaker and Soa Palelei. Both Australians earned their finishes in the second round after tiring their opponents with an offensive onslaught. Whitaker became the first man to finish Clint Hester via strikes, while Palelei picked up his 18th career (technical) knockout.

Biggest Winner: Luke Rockhold

Well he didn't get the first round finish, but he did back up his trash talk with a sensational guillotine in round two.

Rockhold's dominant victory over bitter rival Michael Bisping cements his status as one of the best middleweights in the world. With one more victory over a top contender such as Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, or potentially Lyoto Machida, expect to see the former Strikeforce champion contend for UFC gold in 2015.

Not only was the win huge for Rockhold in terms of his performance and standing in UFC, but beating a name fighter like Bisping is monumental for Rockhold's career and popularity. Last night's fight had enormous hype and anticipation going in, and it proved that Rockhold is someone the fans want to watch perform.

Whether or not Rockhold can become a UFC superstar and sell pay-per-views (PPV) remains to be seen, but you can bet he will get that chance next year.

Runners-up: The Fans


After a very poor UFC 179 PPV two weeks ago in Brazil, UFC rebounded with one of the best cards of all-time, let alone 2014.

The action and violence from Sydney was non-stop from the very first fight all the way to the main event. For the first time in UFC history, every single fight ended by way of exhilarating finish. The judges were avoided in all eleven bouts as the competitors notched seven (technical) knockouts and four submissions.

We were even treated to two "Knockout of the Year" contenders as Marcus Brimage and Louis Smolka sent their opponents to the canvas unconscious with head kicks in the "Prelims". Smolka's step-in sidekick knockout over Richie Vaculik was akin to pro wrestling superstar Shawn Michaels' "Sweet Chin Music" in a finish you are likely to see on highlight reels for a long time.

This seemingly ho-hum UFC Fight Pass card will be remembered in the annals of MMA history for years to come, so bravo UFC, bravo Australia, and bravo to all the fighters on the UFC Fight Night 55 card for putting on one hell of a show.

Al Iaquinta

Welcome to the top 15 of the Lightweight division "Raging" Al Iaquinta.

Iaquinta shed his underdog moniker yesterday with a blistering TKO victory over British bruiser Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson. Iaquinta, the TUF: Live runner-up, looked sensational throughout the fight, picking his shots and landing on Pearson at will.

It is evident that training with UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman at Serra-Longo fight team has paid massive dividends for the 27-year old. With two straight TKO victories behind him, Iaquinta can look forward to a top 15 opponent his next time out as he searches for a UFC title shot in 2015.

Biggest Loser: Michael Bisping

Sorry Michael, it is the end of the line when it comes to fighting for the UFC title.

The former TUF 3 winner gave it all he had last night, but in the end he was no match for the size and striking prowess of Luke Rockhold. With the loss, Bisping is now 3-4 in his last seven, and his losses continue to come against top contenders.

With 22 UFC fights under his belt, Bisping will likely never reach the pinnacle and fight for UFC gold. The question now becomes: will Bisping stay around to make money and fight prospects? Or will he realize that his best days are behind him and move forward as a television face for UFC?

The Brit obviously has a lot of fight left in him, but at the wrong side of 30 and his title chances near eradicated, Bisping may decide to hang them up after all.


Ross Pearson

The former TUF winner was on his best career run in UFC since returning to the Lightweight division back in December 2012. Even while dealing with a No Contest and a robbery decision loss to Diego Sanchez, Pearson was riding high coming into his bout against "Raging" Al Iaquinta in Sydney.

Pearson had just knocked out former No. 1 contender Gray Maynard this past August, and with a win over Iaquinta would likely be looking at a crack at the top 10. Unfortunately for Pearson, Iaquinta was a man on a mission last night as he torched his British foe in the second round.

With the loss, Pearson will have to go back to the drawing board and string together a few wins before being considered relevant once again. At 30, Pearson still has time to evolve, but the window of opportunity is certainly closing quickly.

Dana White and Zuffa's pockets:

Every single fight ended in a finish. All eleven bouts in Sydney last night ended with one fighter getting put out by their opponent for the first time in company history. Talk about a lot of "in the back" bonus checks for the competitors last night!

If there is any time to wildly throw money at your employees Dana, now is the time. Prove to every fighter on the roster that these types of fights and finishes are what will get you the money you desire.

Every single fighter at last night's event put on a show, and they all deserve a hefty bonus check to go with their black eyes. UFC Fight Pass and its' subscribers were the beneficiaries of the year's best event, and fans can relive it in all its glory any time they please.

Now go ahead and pay those men Dana!

That's a wrap!

For more results and fallout from UFC Fight Night 55 including play-by-play, videos, reactions, recaps, and more, check out our "Bisping vs. Rockhold" live story stream right here.

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