The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be making its next stop in California for UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2. The main event consists of a middleweight title fight in which Luke Rockhold will attempt his first title defense against long-time UFC vet Michael Bisping. In the co-main event of the night, Dominick Cruz will defend his bantamweight title against California’s own Urijah Faber.
Rockhold and Bisping was never supposed to happen, but the UFC had to call up Bisping after Chris Weidman had to withdraw with a neck injury and then Ronaldo Souza had to pass on the fight with a damaged meniscus. Thus, Michael Bisping will take a crack at bringing the middleweight title back to the UK.
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This is not the most stacked UFC pay-per-view event we’ve ever seen, but it will be fun to see Rockhold back in action after taking the title from Weidman late last year. Bisping is coming off a win over Anderson Silva, which isn’t as big a deal today as it would have been before Silva’s back-to-back losses and broken leg suffered at the hands of Chris Weidman. Meanwhile, California locals will have what may be their last chance to root for Urijah Faber in what will be his fourth shot at a title.
Preview: Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping
Luke Rockhold (15-2) has held the middleweight title since delivering a brutal beating to Chris Weidman last December. This matchup will be his first title defense since then. Over the course of his career, Rockhold has achieved noteworthy wins over Lyoto Machida (2015), Michael Bisping (2014), Tim Boetsch (2014), Tim Kennedy (2012) and Ronalda “Jacare” Souza (2011).
In their last meeting in 2014, Luke Rockhold dispatched Michael Bisping in the second round with a head kick followed up by a guillotine. That last victory certainly gives Rockhold the edge in the mental game and among oddsmakers.
After 10 years in the UFC, Michael Bisping (28-7) will finally get his title shot this weekend. Rockhold was originally slated to meet Chris Weidman for the UFC 199 Main Event rematch, but Weidman had to pull out due to a neck injury. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was to have been the backup plan, but he too had to decline on the basis of a knee injury. Thus, the UFC tapped Michael Bisping as the replacement, giving him two weeks’ notice.
Michael Bisping is riding a three-fight win streak that culminated in his biggest win to date: a decision victory over Anderson Silva. Prior to that fight, he beat Thales Leites and C.B. Dollaway both by decision.
Interestingly, the last loss on his record came at the hands of Luke Rockhold. He has won three in a row since then, but it’s hard to imagine Bisping posing a serious threat against a prime Rockhold. Bisping got the call for this fight while shooting the new XXX movie with Vin Diesel and now has two weeks to get back to training, fly to California and fight the most dangerous man in the 185-pound division. Bisping deserves credit for stepping up when the UFC needed him, but this is just not the recipe to win a high profile fight.
If the past year in mixed martial arts has taught us anything, it is that the fight game is unpredictable. Rounda Rousey fell to Holly Holm who fell to Miesha Tate. Connor McGregor fell to Nate Diaz. Chris Weidman fell to Luke Rockhold… and so on goes the list. With that being said, I find it extremely difficult to put much faith on Michael Bisping beating Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt.
The oddsmakers appear to agree. This is one of the more lopsided matchups we’ve seen lately from a betting perspective. MMA bookmakers have opened the fight with Rockhold priced as poorly as 1/10. At those odds, it would take £100 to earn a £10 profit.UFC betting sites are paying a little better on Rockhold at 1/8. There, that same £100 bet would return £12.50.
As we’ve seen in the past, the odds do not necessarily reflect what actually goes down on fight night. That’s why I believe 1/10 or even 1/8 is just too poor to back Rockhold for any significant amount of money. You would have to risk upwards of £1000 just to get your winnings to crack the £100 mark. There’s no value there.
On the other hand, Bisping does not inspire much confidence either – even at odds in the range of 5/1. You would have to believe Bisping has about a 17% chance to win this fight for those odds to show value. In my opinion, it’s more like Bisping wins this fight 1 time out of 10 if they were to rematch over and over. It’s hard to find value on either side straight up.
The good news is there are other options. Some UFC sportsbooks are paying 10/11 on the over/under market for 1.5 rounds. What that means is you can bet on this fight lasting fewer than 1.5 rounds at 10/11, or you can bet on the fight lasting longer than 1.5 rounds at 10/11. If an over/under bet sounds better, you should check out BetVictor’s over/under options for 0.5 rounds, 1.5 rounds, 2.5 rounds, 3.5 rounds and 4.5 rounds.
Michael Bisping Highlights
UFC 199 Odds and Fight Card
Both defending champions are heavy favourites according to MMA oddsmakers. Luke Rockhold has been priced as low as 1/10 while Dominick Cruz is priced at 1/6 pretty much across the board. This will be a good one for punters who trend towards the underdogs, but those looking to find value will probably want to consider other options such as the round totals and method of victory markets.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping
- Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber
- Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas
- Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard
- Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green
- Brian Ortega vs. Clay Guida
- Beneil Dariush vs. James Vick
- Jessica Penne vs. Jessica Andrade
- Cole Miller vs. Alex Caceres
Fight Pass Early Prelims
- Sean Strickland vs. Tom Breese
- Jonathan Wilson vs. Luiz Henrique da Silva
- Kevin Casey vs. Elvis Mutapcic
- Polo Reyes vs. Dong Hyun Kim
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Wes Burns has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a writer, researcher, and analyst in the legal online betting industry and is co-founder of OnlineBettingSites.com. Wes approaches his work from the viewpoint of players.