Did NOT see that coming

Michael Bisping is now the new UFC Middleweight Champion?! WTFH?!?!!!


Wow. Just... WOWWWWW.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to see Luke Rockhold get knocked down a few pegs. He is a great fighter who looks like he could wipe the floor with just about anyone who pisses him off. But- and this is a major problem with way too many fighters- he is an absolute arsehole.

I watched him shred Chris Weidman in the 3rd and 4th rounds of their championship fight at UFC194 back in the day, and I thought to myself afterward that Mr. Rockhold would be a terrifying force to reckon within the Octagon for years to come. But I couldn't stand his attitude. The guy is a cocky, smug douchebag- and an ungracious loser, as he proved at the post-fight press conference.

I really enjoy watching the bratty jerks getting taken down a few notches. And I really like watching the humble, hard-working, consummately decent fighters of the UFC get to the top.

I just wish a few more of them would actually stay there. Holly Holm lost her first title defence due to what basically amounted to a small but critical mistake late in the 5th round against Miesha Tate. Chris Weidman, who is nobody's idea of an imposing striker, committed to what is going to go down in history as one of the stupidest wheel kicks ever thrown against an extremely skilled, extremely strong kickboxer, and ended up on his back getting the crap pounded out of him.

It is true that professional athletes at the top of their game are indeed hyper-competitive alpha males. But it is a truly rare professional athlete who has the charisma and the grace to offset his natural jackassitude. Off the top of my head, I can think of... oh, let's see... Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Ayrton Senna, and... yeah, that's about it. Being an arrogant ass kind of comes with the job when you're simply the best around (remember what Michael Schumacher was like back in the day?)- but, like far too many fighters before him, Luke Rockhold forgot the most important thing about his chosen profession.

That thing is the martial code. That code is what every fighter lives by, whether he acknowledges the fact or not. The martial code has been expressed in many forms across many cultures over the millennia- bushido in feudal Japan, the chivalric code in mediaeval Europe, Wude (that's one possible pronunciation or spelling of it) in China, and so on and so forth. Regardless of culture, the martial code always dictates respect, honour, and virtue- and part of being respectful is that one must respect ALL opponents. This applies without reservation to size, strength, sex, or skill level. Every opponent must be respected as a dangerous foe.

And when fighting a seemingly outclassed opponent, mercy does not consist of throwing verbal insults and posturing. Mercy consists of ending the fight quickly and as painlessly as possible, then shaking your opponent's hand and moving on.

Luke Rockhold forgot the martial code. And he paid a steep price for that failure of character by losing his belt to a man who worked hard for his opportunities and exploited them when he got them.

I don't see Michael Bisping holding on to his new belt for all that long, but I do wish him good luck. He strikes me as an outspoken, hard-working, fundamentally decent guy who has really matured throughout his long career in the UFC into a solid fighter with great hands and lots of power.

It should be really damned interesting to see what happens when Luke Rockhold comes back. I just hope he learns from his mistakes. If he doesn't, he absolutely deserves to lose again.

In which case, I really look forward to seeing his epic derpface again:
What I imagine Luke Rockhold looked like when he got put to sleep by a solid jab

Comments

  1. This is what bothers me about pro sports. Coincidentally, it started from the now deceased draft dodger. I, as a fan, don't want to see you preen and tell me how great you are. Trust me, we'll tell you if you're great.

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