Michael Bisping's shocking knockout and other notes from UFC 199

Michael Bisping’s title claiming upset over Luke Rockhold was one of the biggest upsets in UFC title fight history. However, the way that the fight ending is perhaps even more surprising. Over the course of his 26-fight UFC career, Bisping has scored 10 knockouts. That is not a terrible knockout rate. With that being said, a lot of the finishes were the result of an accumulation of strikes. Going into Saturday night, Bisping was landing a knockout for every 133 sig strikes landed.

Against Rockhold, Bisping needed only 21 strikes to turn the lights out and take the belt. That is the fewest sig strikes Bisping has landed in a knockout victory since he bested Eric Schafer in 2006. The Rockhold finish is also the fastest Bisping knockout in his UFC career. Finally, Rockhold had the highest Fight Matrix peak ranking of any of Bisping’s knockout victims.

To come close to Dominick Cruz, you need to throw… a lot
Only one opponent in the UFC has landed over 30 percent of their sig strikes against Cruz, Demetrious Johnson (35). While Cruz’s constant motion forces opponents to constantly miss strikes, he still lands at a relatively solid percentage for an outside striker. If fighters want to match him in the standup, they are forced to throw an excessive number of strikes. On Saturday, Faber was outlanded by 53 strikes. Not only was he landing at a lower rate, he also attempted 101 fewer strikes. In the UFC, the fighter who has come the closest to matching Cruz in terms of landed strikes is T.J. Dillashaw. In their January meeting, Dillashaw landed 109 sig strikes compared to Cruz’s 112. To get that close, Dillashaw had to attempt 430 strikes, which is 118 more than Cruz on that night.

StrikeScore Boxscore
StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency. You can read more about it here. At UFC 199, Beneil Dariush took home the highest score of the night for his knockout over James Vick. None of the performances were strong enough to crack the top ten of 2016.

UFC 199 Fight Forecast

In the main event of UFC 199, Luke Rockhold will look to defend his middleweight title against Michael Bisping. The two faced off for the first time at UFC Fight Night 55. On that night, Rockhold scored a second-round guillotine choke submission. In addition to the submission finish, Rockhold had the edge in the striking game. He finished with a 225 SS+, while Bisping had only a 30.

Not only did Rockhold out-perform Bisping in the striking game, he was also not at his best. His 225 SS+ performance is actually below his average (302) over his last 10 fights.

Bisping also performed below his average. While Rockhold was 77 points under, Bisping was 109 points below his average score.

With news breaking that Rockhold might not be a 100 percent due to a knee injury, Bisping might become a more attractive underdog. However, from a striking perspective at least, Rockhold has already proven that he can win without being at his best.

Dominick Cruz is a favorite across the board
If we look at the new StrikeScore Composite Prediction, Cruz is a huge favorite over his rival Urijah Faber. The Composite prediction is an average of the scaled metrics including StrikeScore, UFC Fantasy, Tapology, betting odds, DraftKings and Fight Matrix. Cruz is the favorite 73 to 27 percent.

Scaled Cruz vs. Faber III Predicitions

Fight Forecast
Fight Forecast previews the event by providing the fighter's career StrikeScore as well as UFC Fantasy predictions, betting odds, DraftKings prices and Fight Matrix rankings. In the following table, predicted winners are in blue and predicted losers are in red. 

StrikeScore is a proprietary stat that measures striking efficiency. The formula uses Fightmetric data, so fighters without fights in the database are not included. Also, a fighter must have at least three fights in the database before the formula can considered at all predictive.

UFC Fantasy and Tapology numbers are the percent of players who have picked each fighter to win. (Numbers are current as of 6/3/2016 3:00 PM EST)

Odds is the betting line of 5Dimes taken from BestFightOdds.com. (Numbers are current as of 6/3/2016 3:00 PM EST)

DraftKings prices listed below are the dollar value used for the fantasy game.

Fight Matrix column represents the fighter's current unbiased and objective ranking.

*Fighter with less than 3 fights in FightMetric database **Ranking at welterweight ^Ranking at bantamweight ^^Ranking at light heavyweight

*Fighter with less than 3 fights in FightMetric database
**Ranking at welterweight
^Ranking at bantamweight
^^Ranking at light heavyweight