It is the cementing of legacies versus a moment of redemption. Will past losses be avenged? Or will the tides press on, confirming the past moments that resonate with us today. These are the story lines going into UFC 199: Rockhold vs Bisping II. Originally slated to defend in a rematch against the recently dethroned Chris Weidman, Rockhold now takes on Michael Bisping in his first, and almost entirely improbable title shot. For some reason the UFC brass has also deemed it necessary to give us the Cruz vs Faber rubber match that none of us really wanted. This card is deep on action fighters that should make for an action packed night. Max Holloway continues his ascent toward title contendership, while an ever aging Dan Henderson will continue to carry o see if he can land that mega-nuke right hand against the always dangerous (in the first round) Hector Lombard. But personally, I am most awaiting the return of the king, Bobby Green, who has a potential fight of the night bonus in waiting against the always exciting to watch, Dustin Poirier. Check out our picks for the fights.
UFC middleweight championship
Luke Rockhold (c) vs Michael Bisping
And then... a handsome man entered the room. As an FYI, that is how every story involving Luke Rockhold begins. I just thought you should know. At this point, there aren't too many superlatives I can give out that you wouldn't already know for the man who beat the man, who beat THE MAN. Rockhold is every bit a complete fighter with nasty power while striking, and may the Seven protect you if he gets control of you on the ground. Michael Bisping knows this first hand with the way he was so effortlessly rolled over into a nasty top-side guillotine in their first outing. This is a title fight so I feel like I should say more, but this title shot is more so just a resume padder. Rockhold by choke submission, round 2.
Bisping: Bobby's heart
UFC bantamweight championship
Dominick Cruz (c) vs Urijah Faber
Those title shots just keep on rolling don't they? Like Deadpool once said about Wolverine, Urijah Faber's biggest superpower is being popular. How else can you truly justify the number of failed title shots this man has gotten, with presumably one more coming up this Saturday. Look, I do know Faber got one early on Cruz, but if we're keeping it real, Cruz has been untouchable ever since and that isn't about to change now. Dillashaw still offers the only real foil in my opinion to Dom. I'd like to believe Cruz will get a finish here as Faber is only getting older, and it would be a great stamping moment, but the Mizugaki aberration aside, we know how this story looks. Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision.
Max Holloway vs Ricardo Lamas
Look, I get it. Ricardo Lamas is a bad, bad dude. If he wins, I wouldn't be shocked. If he does it in dominating fashion, I may feel a little stupid even. BUT, ever since the day I saw Max at the roulette tables when he was still only 20 years old rocking a fake ID... the kid has just been on a tear. He came in as a strong kickboxer, a little skinny, your classic striker. We have really seen his evolution over the years though with Holloway bringing his defensive grappling game up to par with his stand up. You can't help but think future contender with this kid, but he is in for tough night against a former title challenger. The story is simple. If Lamas can inflict his power grappling game, Holloway has a long night in store. If Holloway can manage distance, and find a home for the ever increasing power in his hands and kicks, then we should expect a champion related call out real soon. Holloway by TKO round 2.
Hector Lombard vs Dan Henderson
Since we spent some time referring to the headlining sequels on this card, is it ok for me to refer to this fight as Grumpy Old Men 2? It's a battle of old vs older. Positive tester vs I'm going to use this loophole for what otherwise SHOULD have been a positive test. Power, power, power is the name of the game here. I don't care how old Hendo gets, fighters will always have to fear that right hand. What we're all predicting however, is that Hector is a smart and talented enough fighter to avoid it. Between his own hellacious strikes, and controlling Judo game for when the gas tank runs low, it seems like there are just more avenues to victory for Hector at this point. Hector by unanimous decision.
Lombard: the conservative four
Hendo: Mauro Ranallo
Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier vs Bobby "King" Green
Oh boy. I am excited for this one. Dustin Poirier is Action Jackson in the cage. This man comes to fight and has proven so far incapable of having a bad scrap. Bobby Green is my dude though, and I'm gonna get hyped as soon as I hear "Big Things Poppin" drop as he comes busting out. I know I'm standing on an island alone here, but I believe Bobby Green is at his best against pressure fighters, particularly boxers. Granted he didn't do great with the kicking game of Barbosa, but generally Green's precision and hand speed makes him a nightmare for aggressive fighters. I was on the wrong side of it last week, but technically I see a lot of parallels for why Cody Garbrandt was able to take victory from Almeida. Bobby Green by TKO round 2.
Poirier: DJ Mark, Doc Law, Gooms
Green: MY MAN
It's MMAzing 2016 Standings
1. Doctor Law - (54-28) - .659
2. DJ Mark- (49-33) - .598
2. Lavender Gooms - (49-33) - ..598
2. Kid Presentable - (49-33) - .598
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