On Saturday, June 4, the UFC hosted UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping II from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
In the night’s main event, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold put his belt on the line in a rematch with England’s Michael Bisping. Rockhold was originally slated to rematch former champion Chris Weidman, but an injury forced the New York fighter from the headlining affair. As such, Bisping stepped in on two weeks’ notice to rekindle a rivalry. The pair met in Australia in late 2014 with Rockhold earning a second-round submission win. Rockhold would go on to defeat Weidman by TKO and capture gold, while Bisping climbed back into contention by defeating former champion Anderson Silva earlier this year.
Gold was also on the line in the co-main event as bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz took on bitter rival Urijah Faber. The pair had met twice previously, with Faber submitting Cruz in a WEC featherweight title tilt in the first meeting, and Cruz edging Faber by decision in their rematch at UFC 132.
The 13-fight event kicked off Saturday at 6:15 p.m. ET with four fights streaming on UFC Fight Pass. Four additional preliminary card bouts followed at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, with the five-fight main card airing live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
There’s a new middleweight champion as England’s Michael Bisping stopped Luke Rockhold by first-round knockout. Rockhold came out with a variety of kicks, attempting to take away Bisping’s movement. Rockhold came forward with his chin high, which allowed Bisping to land a counter left hook. Rockhold wobbled and backed up. Bisping smelled blood and charged forward, landing another heavy left hand that sent Rockhold crashing face-first to the ground. Bisping delivered a few more punches before referee John McCarthy peeled him off an unconscious Rockhold.
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz continued his dominance over the division, besting rival Urijah Faber by uanimous decision. Faber came out with reckless abandon which allowed Cruz to capitalize with an early takedown. Cruz used his length and movement to start frustrating Faber. In round two, Cruz dropped Faber with a heavy left hand. He looked for the finish, but Faber was able to recover. From that point, it was all Cruz. He peppered Faber with jabs at range and repeatedly connected with straight left hands. Faber struggled to get inside and never threatened Cruz with anything significant. There was zero doubt as the scorecards were read as Cruz took the lopsided decision and retained his belt.
Featherweight Max Holloway continued his march toward title contention, topping former title challenger Ricardo Lamas on the scorecards. Holloway pressured Lamas against the fence with punches to open the fight. Lamas frequently covered up, but Holloway was relentless with his forward advance. Lamas was desperate to get the fight to the ground, but Holloway showcased great hips and balance to keep the fight standing. In the middle stanza, Lamas started to find his range, but Holloway shut him down with a big combination. Lamas shot for a takedown, but left his neck exposed and Holloway looked for a choke, but couldn’t finish. Lamas was more aggressive in the final round, but Holloway’s speed and footwork was too much, as he claimed all three rounds on all three scorecards.
Former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson turned back the clock, knocking out Hector Lombard after surviving an early onslaught. Henderson briefly wobbled Lombard early, but he was overzealous and Lombard dropped him with a left hand. He gained side control and looked for a straight armbar, but Henderson was able to escape and return to his feet. Lombard rocked Henderson again, but Henderson survived the round. The tide turned in round two as Henderson delivered a head kick that stunned Lombard. Henderson followed with a back elbow that turned out the lights on the Cuban.
Dustin Poirier continued his march up the lightweight ranks with a first-round finish of Bobby Green. Poirier found a home for his left straight, dropping Green less than a minute into the fight. He flurried, but Green was able to survive and get back to his feet. Green taunted Poirier with trash talk, but it would prove to be his demise as Poirier continued to land his left hand at will. He dropped Green again midway through the round and the referee halted the bout to prevent Green from further punishment.
The prelims closed out with a huge comeback win for featherweight Brian Ortega. Ortega was getting outpointed by veteran Clay Guida on the feet for two rounds. Guida’s movement was on point and Ortega had no answer. However, in the third round, as time was winding down, Ortega uncorked a perfectly timed knee square to Guida’s jaw. Guida crashed to the mat and referee Herb Dean waved off the bout.
Lightweight Beneil Dariush handed James Vick his first career loss with an emphatic, first-round knockout. Dariush attacked the body of Vick with kicks, but it was the left hand that proved to be Vick’s demise. Dariush clipped him early and Vick crashed to the mat. Vick somehow survived and worked back to his feet, but Dariush did not let up. He rocked Vick again with another left hand and was able to score the finish.
Debuting in the strawweight division, Brazil’s Jessica Andrade battered former title challenger Jessica Penne and earned a second-round stoppage. Andrade was aggressive from the opening bell, backing Penne along the fence and unleashing flurries of hooks to the head and body. She hurt Penne badly at the end of the opening frame, but the bell saved Penne. Penne’s luck ran out in round two, however. Andrade again put her against the cage and unloaded until referee Jason Herzog stepped in to stop it.
Alex Caceres put on the best performance of his career, besting veteran Cole Miller on less than two weeks’ notice. Caceres rocked Miller right out of the gate, setting the tone for the fight. He battered Miller on the feet and mixed in multiple takedowns. Miller came alive in the final round, threatening with an armbar. Caceres escaped, but was forced to defend Miller’s choke attempts as time expired. All three judges rewarded Caceres the decision win.
Welterweight Sean Strickland eked out a split decision win over Tom Breese in a lackluster affair. Both fighters were tentative and struggled to find their range in the first stanza. Strickland found his range in the middle round, scoring from range. Neither fighter tried to engage in anything but a point battle and when it was all said and done, two of the three judges gave it to Strickland.
Brazilian Luiz Henrique da Silva had a successful Octagon debut, stopping Jonathan Wilson by second-round TKO. Wilson landed repeated left hands in the opening frame, but da Silva answered with heavy leg kicks and strong clinch work. Wilson’s pace slowed significantly in round two as da Silva turned up his offense. Just as Wilson looked to be fading, he dropped da Silva with a left hand. He followed the Brazilian to the ground, but was swept and mounted. Da Silva rained punches and earned the finish.
Middleweights Kevin Casey and Elvis Mutapcic engaged in a back-and-forth bout that was ultimately ruled a majority draw. Casey scored with takedowns early. Mutapcic turned the tide midway through round two, powering out of the mount and attacking with knees to the body of Casey. It was all Mutapcic from there, evening things up on the scorecards.
The night started with a war between lightweights Polo Reyes and “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim. The pair threw caution to the wind, repeatedly wobbling one another on the feet. Kim took heavy shot after shot, but continued to fire back, bloodying the face of Reyes. The face of Kim swelled badly as the fight progressed. In the final round, the volume of Reyes added up, as he finished Kim with a heavy right hand.