The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its sixth visit to Australia today, for UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping.
The Allphones Arena in Sydney will host the event, headlined by two middleweight contenders who have already engaged one another in a war of words. The event features many new faces as well, but enjoys the presence of two solid lightweights in Al Iaquinta and Ross “The Boss” Pearson, whose main card bout looks to be another standout.
UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping, alias UFC Fight Night 55 or UFC Fight Night Sydney, will be broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. If you can’t make it, we’ll have results of all the preliminary bouts and a play-by-play of the main card for you here at Caged Insider. Just remember to hit refresh often to get the latest update!
Preliminary card (to be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass)
Bantamweights: Jumabieke Tuerxun vs. Marcus Brimage by KO (head kick) at 2:58 of round one.
Middleweights: Daniel Kelly defeated Luke Zachrich by submission (Kimura) at 4:27 of round one.
Flyweights: Louis Smolka defeated Richie Vaculik by TKO (head kick/punches) at 0:18 of round three.
Welterweights: Chris Clements defeats Vik Grujic by TKO (punches) at 4:06 of round one.
Middleweights: Sam Alvey defeated Dylan Andrews by KO (slam/punches) at 2:16 of round one.
Light Heavyweights: Anthony Perosh defeated Guto Inocente by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:46 of round one.
Lightweights: Jake Matthews defeated Vagner Rocha by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:52 of round two.
Main Card (to be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass)
Heavyweights: Soa Palelei vs. Walt Harris
Two hard-hitters in this opener: Aussie Palelei hits hard but also has some grappling credentials. Harris is out of ATT now but known for one-punch KO power. Soa is a minor favorite.
Round One: Slow start with both guys at range. Soa shoots in and almost gets a footsweep against the cage. Harris escapes, hits a couple inside leg kicks. Soa shoots in again, Harris turns and lands a knee to the body. They disengage again. Both missing punches and kicks at range. Palelei throws a high kick, Harris blocks. Good body kick from Harris. Not much happening as the horn sounds. 10-9, Harris.
Round Two: More of the same, but a nice inside leg kick from Palelei surprises Harris. Good right hand from Palelei. Palelei shoots but Harris sprawls and lands a left. Good body kick from Harris. Hand combo’s landing from Palelei now. Crowd chanting as Harris backpedaling, and finally Palelei gets his double leg takedown. Harris in half guard taking punches — Palelei quickly moves to mount and pours it on. Hammer-fists and Harris covering, and the ref steps in!!
Soa Palelei defeats Walt Harris by TKO (punches) at 4:49 of round two.
History! Soa Palelei becomes the first fighter in UFC history to earn four finishes via strikes from the mount position. #UFCSydney
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) November 8, 2014
Middleweights: Robert Whittaker vs. Clint Hester
The American Hester, best known for his TUF 17 appearance, is on a 7 fight winning streak. Whittaker, who was born in NZ but is based in Australia, won TUF Smashes as a Welter. Hester is an almost two to one favorite by some betting sites.
Round One: Big jab from Hester to start, and they exhcnage kicks. Big exchange of straight rights, and Hester looks staggered. They clinch, and Whittaker shrugs off a takedown attempt. Fast pace here, jab/leg kick combo’s from Whittaker landing hard. Big spinning back-fist/elbow from Hester, but Whittaker shrugs it off. Big right drops Hester! Whittaker swarms with punches as Hester struggles to survive. Finally Hester backs to the cage, but Whittaker gets a double leg. Hester in half guard, then closed, as we slow down. Light ground-and-pound from Whittaker, and Hester reverses him. 10-9, Whittaker.
Round Two: Big right hands from Whittaker countering some wild, winging shots from Hester. Upper-cut lands from Whittaker. Hester finally lands a haymaker, then a knee. Whittaker establishing his jab well. Hester clinches Whittaker against the cage, but the Aussie circles away. 3-2 combo staggers the American. Hester crumbles after a knee to the head, and Whittaker swarms with punches to force the stoppage.
Robert Whittaker defeated Clint Hester by TKO (punches) at 2:43 of round two.
Whittaker looks positively sensational at this weight. One wonders if he'll squander it all with this senseless trading.
— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) November 8, 2014
Good point by Mr. Thomas, Whittaker probably slugged it out a bit more than he had to. Great fight though!
Lightweights: Ross Pearson vs. Al Iaquinta
Two familiar faces here in the co-main. The New Yorker “Raging” Al, of the Serra/Longo camp, is coming off a nice TKO win over Rodrigo Damm in September. Pearson, a Brit now training at Alliance in California, handed Grey Maynard a beatdown back in August. Almost even money — Iaquinta is a +115 underdog.
Round One: Both guys bouncing in and out to begin. Big snapping counter right from Pearson. Iaquinta with a glancing head kick. Good right to the body from Pearson. Inside leg kick from Pearson. Nice right from Iaquinta but Pearson the aggressor, hitting a solid left hook in the exchange. Pearson out-landing by just a little as the bell sounds. 10-9, Pearson.
Round Two: Pearson looking to take the advantage, get a bit more aggressive to begin. Pearson with head kick, and a big counter right hand drops Pearson! Back up, but Iaquinta stalking now. Uppercut staggers Pearson. Right/left haymakers land and Pearson crumbles to the mat! It’s over!
Big win for the guy Dan Hardy keeps calling “Iaquinter.”
Al Iaquinta defeats Ross Pearson by TKO (punches) at 1:39 of round two.
Ok disregard my earlier tweet about finishes. This card now TIES FUEL 10 & UFC FN 13 with 10 finishes, most in UFC. Thanks .@tgerbasi!
— Heidi Fang (@HeidiFang) November 8, 2014
Middleweights: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping
Rockhold walks out to the tune of “Battle of New Orleans” which gives me a smile. He’s a big (-500) favorite.
Round One: Bisping coming forward with punches and kicks to start. Rockhold drives forward to initiate a clinch. Their heads clash and the bout is halted. Re-start, in the clinch, and Rockhold with a knee to the body. Rockhold glances with a right hook. Rockhold with an inside leg kick. Rockhold more the aggressor now. More leg kicks from the American. Heavy body kicks from Rockhold. Nice combo from Bisping as round ends (right/low kick) but it’s Rockhold’s round. 10-9, Rockhold.
Round Two: Good straight left from Rockhold as Bisping looking for kicks. Head kick from Rockhold drops the Brit! Punches from Rockhold, Rockhold catches a guillotine in transition! Bisping is rolled into mount and taps!
That’s the first submission loss of Bisping’s career and the 11th stoppage win of the card (a record!)
Luke Rockhold defeated Michael Bisping by submission (guillotine) at 0:57 of round two.