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Monday Morning Hangover: What's next for Luke Rockhold after knockout loss at UFC 199?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 199 went down last Saturday night (June 4, 2016) from inside The Forum in Los Angeles, California.

For complete coverage of the entire UFC Fight 199: "Rockhold vs. Bisping 2" fight card click here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Urijah Faber, who lost once again to his bitter rival and current bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, after he was outclassed in all aspects of the fight game (see it again here).

And Hector Lombard, who suffered his second straight stoppage loss, as Dan Henderson knocked out the former Bellator middleweight champion with a head kick and vicious elbow to the side of the head (recap here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now 48 hours removed from the show?

Luke Rockhold.

Going into his first-ever title defense, Luke had all the confidence in the world, as he was taking on a man he already had a stoppage victory over in Michael Bisping. To top it off, "The Count" accepted the world title fight on just 17 days notice after he stepped in to replace an injured Chris Weidman.

Heck, even "All American" didn't give Bisping much of a chance against the champ.

Boy did the brash Brit turn the mixed martial arts (MMA) world upside down, as "The Count" proceeded to knock out Rockhold in the very first round thanks to a sneaky left hand that floored the 185-pound champion halfway through the opening frame.

A few seconds later, Bisping, yet again, clobbered a stunned Rockhold with the same left punch and followed it up with a few more strikes to the dome on his downed foe to capture the championship strap (watch it unfold here).

A moment that was a decade in the making.

While the win was huge for "The Count," it was equally devastating for Luke, who was forced to eat a ton of crow after coughing up his strap to a man he despises greatly. But, he only has himself to blame, as he admitted that he underestimated Bisping and didn't expect much from him come fight night.

Now, the road back to the title is a rather murky one, as the 185-pound division is pretty crowded at the moment.

That's because Ronaldo Souza is waiting in the wings for his first-ever shot at the strap, while the aforementioned Weidman also looks to get a crack at his old belt in the coming months. Plus, Anderson Silva is also one spectacular win away from his own redemption.

But his much desired do-over against Bisping might be coming later, rather than sooner.

So what becomes of Luke if he doesn't get an instant rematch to regain his strap? Perhaps a showdown against Vitor Belfort, who is also coming off a devastating defeat, is in order.

After all, for the longest time Rockhold was clamoring for another shot at the Brazilian after he spoiled his UFC debut back in 2013 with a first-round knockout.

Now is as good a time as any.

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