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UFC 199 fight card: Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping full fight preview

Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping will duel TONIGHT (June 4, 2016) at UFC 199 inside The Forum in Inglewood, California. In a match up of dominant champion and perennial contender, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight strikers Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping will clash TONIGHT (June 4, 2016) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

In his last five fights, Rockhold has brutalized each of his opponents, including Michael Bisping. In his first title defense, Rockhold will look to finish his foe in even more dominant fashion.

Meanwhile, Bisping has been grinding for a title shot for years now. After it seemed likely that Bisping would never earn his opportunity, a big win combined with some good luck to result in this chance. Now, he'll try to make the most of it.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both athletes:

Luke Rockhold
Record: 15-2
Key Wins: Chris Weidman (UFC 194), Ronaldo Souza (Strikeforce: Barnett vs Kharitonov), Lyoto Machida (UFC on FOX 15), Tim Kennedy (Strikeforce: Rockhold vs Kennedy)
Key Losses: Vitor Belfort (UFC on FX 8)
Keys to Victory: In addition to being one of the largest and best conditioned athletes in his division, Rockhold is exceptionally dangerous in each area of MMA. He's a prolific finisher as well, having submitted or knocked out 13 of his past opponents.

In Rockhold's last bout with Bisping, things went pretty perfectly. Besides a couple low kicks, Bisping was hardly able to land a single strike. From the outside, Rockhold completely dominated with his kicks and counter punches, pretty effortlessly finishing his opponent in about six minutes.

So yeah, he should probably just do that again.

There's really nothing Rockhold needs to change. Bisping had no success getting into his range and ate hard shots trying to; he was completely out of his element. Plus, he didn't even have a real training camp to try and make adjustments.

If Rockhold keeps his chin down and sticks to his usual game plan, another finish is coming.


Michael Bisping
Record: 28-7
Key Wins: Anderson Silva (UFC Fight Night 84), Thales Leites (UFC Fight Night 72), C.B. Dollaway (UFC 186), Brian Stann (UFC 152)
Key Losses: Luke Rockhold (UFC Fight Night 55),Tim Kennedy (TUF Nations Finale), Vitor Belfort (UFC on FX 7)
Keys to Victory: Bisping is a high-volume kickboxer with some very solid takedown defense. His biggest weapon has always been his conditioning, as Bisping breaks his opponent down with an endless stream of strikes before turning it up late.

His strategy has led to numerous technical knockout finishes.

In Bisping's first bout with Rockhold, his main issue was that he simply could close the distance. That's a complicated problem to solve and has troubled each of Rockhold's opponent, especially since it's never really been Bisping's strategy.

First off, Bisping really needs to avoid circling into Rockhold's powerful left hand and kick. It's simple a terrible idea in every way and caused Bisping to eat some hard shots last time around.

Besides that, Bisping should be looking to trap Rockhold against the cage and force extended boxing exchange. If Bisping does have a real advantage in this fight, it's in his combination boxing. That's still a big risk -- Bisping is known for getting clipped by long hooks and Rockhold's counter right hook is one of the best -- but it's also his best chance to connect with Rockhold's chin.

Bottom Line: It may be a bit of a mismatch on paper, but it's still for the title.

Rockhold has spoken quite a bit about legacy in the interviews leading up to this fight, and champions are remembered for defending their title. This is the start of that journey, and there are plenty other tough Middleweights vying for an opportunity.

The former Strikeforce kingpin has plenty of work ahead of him.

If Rockhold were to lose this bout, it would be shocking. He's simply looked so dominant -- ESPECIALLY against Bisping -- that it's hard to imagine. Still, it would be a dramatic setback, as Rockhold would have to battle for a title shot like everyone else.

This is Bisping's opportunity. He's been working for this title shot for the better part of a decade, and it may be short-notice bout, but it's finally his time.

It would be a massive achievement for Bisping to upset Rockhold and become a champion. Rather than be remembered as a perennial contender, Bisping would be a man who both became champion and defeated Anderson Silva.

That's quite the legacy.

On the other hand, this will be Bisping's only shot. If he doesn't win this bout, it will be almost impossible for him to receive another chance, let alone win.

TONIGHT at UFC 199, Luke Rockhold will attempt to defend his title opposite Michael Bisping. Which man will leave the Octagon strapped with gold?

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