For the first time in his career, Michael Bisping is a UFC champion.
Thanks to a left hook and some follow-up shots against the cage, Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round to become the new middleweight champion at UFC 199 in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
UFC tweeted this after the fight came to its sudden end:
Fox Sports UFC provided the official result:
ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto reacted after Bisping, who had only 17 days' notice to get ready for the fight, knocked out Rockhold:
In the 26th UFC fight of his career, the Englishman took full advantage of his first title shot. A shocked Chris Weidman, who was supposed to face Rockhold for the title before bowing out due to injury, was nearly speechless:
Bisping came out swinging early. He delivered an early right hand, but Rockhold responded with those powerful leg kicks that he's used frequently in the UFC.
But after about three-and-a-half minutes went by, Bisping ended it quickly with a swift left punch. New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram couldn't believe the outcome either:
ESPN's Kevin Connors went into the GIF jar to react accordingly:
Bisping was the aggressor early, but the fight looked to swing in favor of Rockhold once the pace slowed down. That, however, ended up favoring Bisping when he found the opening that won him the fight. Now, Bisping is a 1-of-1 in title matches.
A fight with Weidman may be on the horizon.
Bisping was overjoyed after the match, putting this accomplishment near the top of his list.
Rockhold seemed to be at a loss for words after the fight, saying he didn't expect that result.
"Congrats to Michael," Rockhold said, per Fox Sports UFC. "He caught me. I took him for granted."
The pleasantries did not last for long, however, especially on Rockhold's end, per Fox Sports UFC:
Bisping entered the room late and responded to the former champion, per UFC:
"Go (expletive) yourself," Bisping shouted at Rockhold, per Damon Martin of FoxSports.com. "You'll get knocked out again. I (expletive) knocked you out twice now." Jose Youngs captured the exchange on Instagram (warning: NSFW language):
"I will have my belt back," Rockhold said in the press conference. "If you give me this rematch, I will put him away. I will respect him more, but I will put him away."
And Rockhold made it clear Bisping's run will not last long.
"Obviously I didn't respect him enough," Rockhold said, per Fox Sports UFC. "I got caught and I guess destiny is real, but it's not gonna last very long."