Monday, December 14, 2015

Luke Rockhold dethrones Chris Weidman to claim UFC middleweight belt (FULL FIGHT REPLAY VIDEO)

Luke Rockhold handed Chris Weidman the first loss of his UFC career and claimed the middleweight championship with a superb performance in the co-main event of UFC 194 Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Luke Rockhold dethrones Chris Weidman to claim UFC middleweight belt (FULL FIGHT REPLAY VIDEO)
Rockhold took advantage of a poor tactical decision made by Weidman late in the third round to take control of the fight completely, en route to a fourth-round technical knockout victory.

Weidman, who came into the fight with a 13-0 record that included two victories over Brazilian legend Anderson Silva, attempted an ill-advised wheel kick with around a minute to go in the third round. He missed badly, and Rockhold promptly took him to the mat.

From that point on, the bout was all Rockhold as the challenger pounded away at Weidman, whose face was thoroughly cut up and barely survived the third round.

The end came at the 3:12 mark of the fourth, when referee Herb Dean finally stopped the contest as Weidman was no longer throwing any punches, while Rockhold continued to do damage from top position.

"It's indescribable," Rockhold said after his win. "Are you kidding me? I can't even believe this is real."

Rockhold, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, improved to 15-2 with his victory. Weidman dropped to 13-1.

The bout was close up until Weidman attempted his wheel kick, although Rockhold took control in the second round thanks to his tremendous kicks. Weidman, however, had seemingly recovered in the third, attacking Rockhold with kicks of his own before his poor attempt that changed the complexion of the fight.

"I remember throwing that," a disappointed Weidman said after the fight. "He caught me and brought me down. That wasn't the smartest move."

"He shouldn't be trying that kind of stuff on me," Rockhold said of the kick. "I knew that if I got top control and got on the ground, I'm operating on a different level than anybody right now. I'm comfortable in my own game."

The 31-year-old Weidman won the UFC middleweight belt in July 2013, beating Silva via knockout at UFC 162. He successfully defended the belt three times, the last at UFC 187 in May when he stopped Vitor Belfort.


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