Michael Bisping won the UFC middleweight championship with a stunning first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold on Saturday night, earning his first title at UFC 199 after 10 years and 26 fights in the promotion.

Bisping (30-7) spectacularly won the UFC 185-pound title just over two weeks after accepting the bout as an injury replacement for former champion Chris Weidman.

Bisping abruptly knocked down Rockhold midway through the round with a left hand to the jaw of the back-pedalling champion.

Rockhold bounced back up and engaged Bisping, who knocked him down for good with another left hand, finishing the champion with 1:24 left in the round.


Bisping, an Englishman fighting out of Orange County, had never fought for a title in a decade with the UFC.

"This was my dream. Nobody was taking this away from me," Bisping said.

"Two weeks? Two days, two hours, two minutes. I'll fight anybody on a moment's notice."

The 37-year-old veteran was on set in Toronto - playing a villain in a new Vin Diesel movie - when he got the call to replace Weidman, who had to drop out of the rematch with a neck injury.

The assumption might be that Rockhold will get a rematch with Bisping but champing at the bit is No.6 ranked middleweight contender, Australia's Robert Whittaker, who quickly tweeted "I'm coming," after Bisping knocked Rockhold out.

Whittaker is currently on a five-fight win streak which has seen him knock out both Clint Hester and Brad Tavares and take three unanimous decision victories over Mike Rhodes, Uriah Hall and finally Rafael Natal, at UFC 197, a fight he won with a broken hand.

It was only fitting that a card as exhilarating as UFC 199 would be followed by a press conference that dishes out just as much flare.

Rockhold and Bisping clearly weren't satisfied with their short time in the cage, and continued their affray in front of the media with a heated exchange of expletives.

The defeated champion started the press conference by explaining just how he had managed to lose to a fighter he perceives as being below him, shortly before Bisping entered the room, beer in hand.

"I believe I had control of that fight from the beginning, I just overcommitted and he caught me," Rockhold said.

"Bisping is a tough dude, I've always said it. He's a warrior, he will hang in there. But I just obviously didn't respect him enough, I was overcommitting and I tried something I usually don't do...

"I guess destiny is real, but it's not going to last very long... I'm still on top of this game. I guarantee, you give me this re-match, I will put this man away, just like I did the first time.

"I knew what he was capable of. I know this game is crazy, and I know its MMA and anything can happen."

One reporter mentioned Chris Weidman's reaction when losing the belt to Rockhold in December, claiming he was frustrated having lost to Rockhold as opposed to any other middleweight, which seemed to ignite something in the 31-year-old.

"Try losing it to Michael Bisping," Rockhold said.

"God. That guy is such a dick. I mean you show your true colours after a fight, and that f***ing guy comes up to me and says 'you know who you are'."