Luke Rockhold is the UFC’s new middleweight champion after he TKO’d Chris Weidman after a sustained ground and pound assault in the fourth round of their co-main event clash at UFC 194 in Las Vegas.
The co-main event middleweight title fight is underway! Weidman moves on the outside. He lands a body kick. Now he targets the leg and Rockhold fires back with one his own.
Winging strike from Rockhold and it misses. Weidman moves in on him while he’s out of position and ends up hopping onto his back. Rokhold dips down trying to shake him off and after a bit of a scramble Rockhold almost has him off. Weidman hanging on and eventually stands with Rockhold clinched up.
Weidman reverses the clinch and takes Rockhold down. Weidman in side control and looks to take Rockhold’s back. Rockhold able to stand against the cage and eats a knee as he does so. Weidman continues to press him into the cage. Short knees from Rockhold from this position. Weidman with a nice elbow upstairs. Short uppercuts from the champion and continued knees from the challenger.
Weidman goes for the takedown and does so, but Rockhold has a guillotine choke attempt here. Weidman in side control though so hard to finish from here. Rockhold doesn’t look to be cranking too hard, but maintaining the choke for the time being.
A minute to go as they remain in this spot. The ref opts to stand them up. Rockhold with a hard body kick, then to the head and to the leg.
Weidman looking for a takedown, but Rockhold rolls, scrambles and ends up on top. Nice work from him to end the round. A good amount of energy expended in that round though, both men breathing deeply inbetween rounds.
Weidman tries to land a winging punch, but misses and Rockhold connects on a counter then swarms on him with a flurry. Weidman moves out of danger, but Rockhold lands a body kick.
Weidman landing a body kick and moves into the clinch, but Rockhold spins away. Body kick from Rockhold. Weidman moving forward and lands a body kick of his own. Rockhold blasts a big head kick upstairs, but Weidman blocks.
Rockhold lands a leg kick. Weidman changing his stances in the middle of the cage. Clinch in the center of the cage and as they separate Rockhold throws a high kick. ANother couple of kicks to the body and leg come from the challenger. Weidman misses with a head kick attempt of his own.
Rockhold lands a kick to the leg. Weidman presses forward and is grazed with a hook on the way in as he tries to clinch. Rockhold lands a knee to the body as they separate.
Question mark kick from Rockhold. He lands a nice strike that back up the champion. Weidman marches forward again but Rockhold lands a right hook.
Weidman looking a little lazy on a couple of hooks. Rockhold with harder strikes in return. Body kick for Rockhold. Couple of leg kicks for Weidman. Weidman misses with a big punch and almost goes off-balance as a result, but ROckhold doesn’t capitalize.
Another kick from Rockhold. He goes upstairs with the question mark kick, but doesn’t land. Lowe kick does connect though. Hard body kick for Weidman and Rockhold seemed hurt by that and runs away for a moment before turning back. He’s grinning at Weidman and takes a deep breath. Suprisingly Weidman doesn’t look to continue to follow up on that and that’s the end of another competitive round. This fight is as close as everyone hoped it would be.
Weidman pulls out of a body kick attempt to start the third. Weidman feels out with punches then lands a body kick. Now a leg kick. Rockhold with a punch then tries for the body kick that’s almost caught. Weidman forward and lands a body kick of his own.
Right hook for Rockhold as Weidman comes into the clinch. Nothing doing from this and they separate. Weidman punches the body then lands a couple of kicks to the body. Now one to the leg.
Weidman misses with a punch and eats a counter. Weidman does land with a right hand though and then gets a takedown. Rockhold with his back to the cage as Weidman stands over him. Rockhold stands and they clinch up. The champion presses him to the cage. Rockhold lands a couple of knees and they separate.
Weidman with a strike and Rockhold just misses with a big punch. Leg kick for Rockhold. Weidman with a solid body kick. Rockhold lands a nice right hand. Two body kicks from Weidman.
Left and a right for Rockhold then eats another body kick. Weidman with a head kick that’s blocked and then the champ tries a wheel kick, but it misses.
Rockhold suddenly takes Weidman down and takes his back. He comfortably moves into full mount. Good work from the champion and he starts to land a little ground and pound with a minute to go in the round.
Rockhold starting to land bigger shots now and Weidman covering up and bleeding. Rockhold is punishing him here and Weidman’s smeared in blood. 10 seconds remaining and Rockhold batters the champions face with punches. If he wasn’t the champion this would surely have been stopped as he’s offering nothing from his back, but the ref lets him continue and he makes it to the end of the round.
Weidman moves unsteadily back to his corner. He’s battered, but not out and you have to wonder how much energy Rockhold expended going for the ground and pound finish there. A huge moment in the fight as we head into the championship rounds.
Weidman with a body kick to start the fourth. Rockhold lands a body kick and goes into the clinch. He’s looking for a takedown. They scramble and get right back up. Rockhold presses him against the cage again and tries to drag him to the mat. Almost, but not quite. He keeps at it against the cage and this time he does land it.
Rockhold in half guard and lands a punch. Weidman manages to get back to full guard. He’s got his head pressed uncomfortably up against the cage as Rockhold looks to land a few strikes. He lands to the body then a couple of strikes to the head. A right hand lands nicely.
Weidman tries to stand, but nothing doing. Rockhold lands hard again after posturing up. Weidman’s face streaked in blood. Rockhold trying to step into mount, but Weidman keeps him in half guard.
Rockhold in a good spot here though, postured up and landing more ground and pound and Weidman is covering up. This one is on the verge of being stopped as he chips away. That’s it, the ref has seen enough at 3.12mins of the fourth round – Luke Rockhold has just defeated Chris Weidman to become the new middleweight champion of the world!
Rockhold is absolutely exhausted and collapses in the center of the Octagon as a dejected Weidman hangs his head. Light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier comes in to celebrate with his team-mate. Amazing stuff, a fight that lived up to the hype.