It was close at first. Then it wasn’t.
In the opening round of the UFC 194 co-main event, champ Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold wasted no time going to battle, with Weidman coming out aggressive and mixing dirty boxing with wrestling and touching up the former Strikeforce champ’s face. Rockhold threatened with guillotine attempts though, and began landing kicks up and down Weidman’s frame.
The second round saw Rockhold take over, as Weidman seemed to coast and be content with keeping things standing – a game plan that had him absorbing more and more kicks and more and more punches to the face. When the round was over, it was clear the score was 1-1.
The champ continued his campaign on the feet, only this time Rockhold was slowing, and Weidman was chipping away at him with kicks to the body. Could Weidman be taking over? Yes, but then he threw a spinning kick, and Rockhold used the opportunity to drag him to the ground, secure mount, and rain down a barrage of punches that referee Herb Dean looming and poised to step in. Dean didn’t for some reason, and a wobbled Weidman did his best to make it to his corner.
Round 4 pretty much picked up where the third had left off, only this time, when Rockhold secured mount and dropped leather, the ref did step in.
At 3:12 of the round, Rockhold was the new champ.