Leading up to his UFC 194 middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman, former Strikeforce titleholder Luke Rockhold appeared extremely confident. He claimed that he was on a different level and predicted to finish the previously unbeaten champion.
On Saturday, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Rockhold showed why he was so certain that he’d be the first man to defeat Weidman by finishing “The All American” via technical knockout.
It was a grueling battle of endurance and will that lasted into the fourth frame.
The opening round was back-and-forth with Weidman taking the challenger’s back and securing a takedown in the early going. Weidman battled back in the second half of the frame, landing hard shots and gaining top control on the ground after a scramble.
Rockhold put his strikes together well in the second round, hurting Weidman with a right hand at one point. Weidman wasn’t going to go away easy, though. He came out in the third frame as the fresher fighter. He landed kicks to the body and Rockhold was visibly fatigued.
The turning point in the fight came when Weidman sensed that Rockhold was fading and threw a wheel kick. Rockhold grabbed him and drug him to the canvas. From there, he advanced to the mount position and battered and bloodied Weidman. Referee Herb Dean gave serious consideration to stopping the fight at the end of the round.
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Heading into the fourth frame, Weidman’s face was swollen and bleeding. Rockhold immediately looked to get the fight back to the ground. Weidman desperately grabbed the fence trying to stay on his feet, but inevitably ended up on his back. Rockhold picked ….View full article