UFC Fight Night Picks for Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, October 18, 2014 8:36 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 8:36 PM GMT

Friday night November 7th will feature a clash of top ten middleweight contenders as Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold lock up but which Octagon veteran will cash in our UFC picks?

Luke Rockhold (12-2, 3 KO’s, 7 Subs)
The former Strikeforce Middleweight champ was unceremoniously welcomed to the UFC by Vitor Belfort with a spinning heel kick that rendered Rockhold defenseless leading to a first-round TKO stoppage.  But the Strikeforce refugee rebounded with two consecutive first-round finishes himself over UFC veterans Costas Philippou (TKO) and Tim Boetsch (submission). After the impressive victory over Boetsch Rockford declared that a fight with Michael Bisping or a rematch with Vitor Belfort was in his sights.

The UFC odds clearly favored Rockhold who entered his fight with Philippou as a 4-1 betting favorite and north of 10-1 chalk against Boetsch. He demonstrated he was not only worthy as the oddsmakers overwhelming choice but proved his stunning knockout loss against Belfort was solidly in his rear view mirror.

Rockhold’s game is clearly entrenched on the mat as he holds a black belt in BJJ but over the past few years has become more multidimensional as evidenced by his willingness to go toe-to-toe with striker Keith Jardine and come out with a first-round KO via a fusillade of looping rights and short lefts that felled the Dean of Mean. Against Philippou he leveled a ferocious mid-level roundhouse that caved the UFC veteran and then submitted Tim Boetsch in his subsequent match.

 

Michael Bisping (25-6, 15 KO’s, 4 Subs)
“The Count” as he is known has alternated wins and losses over the past three years. Bisping has become an aging gatekeeper of sorts in the middleweight division losing to the upper echelon fighters like Chael Sonnen (circa 2011/early 2012), Vitor Belfort and Tim Kennedy. However, Bisping did impose his will over Brian Stann, Alan Belcher and in his last fight he entered the Octagon as a -275 betting favorite in UFC odds over the legendary Cung Le and dispatched him in the fourth-round courtesy of a series of knees and punches.

And though the 35-year-old Bisping showed he still has some firepower in his most recent trip inside the Octagon it should be noted that Cung Le is a 42-year-old shadow of his former self. Bisping is strictly a one dimensional fighter who hasn’t had a submission in nine years. He is more than willing to stand and trade but will be vexed by the highly capable mat skills of Rockhold therefore he will be looking to employ a substantial takedown defense if he is to have a puncher’s chance at derailing Rockhold.

 

Free UFC Pick
Sportsbooks like 5Dimes.com have installed Rockhold as high as a 5-1 betting favorite in UFC odds over the veteran Bisping. But if you’re convinced the younger, by five years, Rockhold will cash a ticket then you can find him as low as -350 in other offshores. Essentially what we have here is a fighter that closely resembles the 2.0 version of Keith Jardine. Bisping is a more adept and refined striker than Jardine but has not won consecutive fights in nearly three years and those he has dispatched are clearly not in Rockhold’s caliber.

Rockhold has been gaining traction with his stand up game and may want to make a statement that he can floor Bisping at his own game. There is more than just a bit of bad blood between these two cage savvy warriors and though Bisping will be overmatched on the mat he can still bring it early and often with his fists. Both fighters have tremendous cardio conditioning so neither will be running out of gas as the fight moves into the latter stages. And though both possess knockout power don’t be surprised if this one goes to the judge’s scorecards. Bisping has never been submitted and has been KO’ed only twice in his career by MMA legends Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort. Therefore this could be closer than the UFC odds indicate.

Include Rockhold -350 in your UFC picks.

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