According to a Nov. 7 report from MMA Junkie, all the results are in from the UFC Fight Night 55 preliminary card, which emanated from the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. The event, which aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass, was the UFC’s fourth time holding an event in Sydney, and sixth time in Australia.
Marcus Brimage (6-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) opened the UFC Fight Night 55 card with a collision with Jumabieke Tuerxun (14-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), and both men fought as if their job was on the line. In all likelihood, the fight was actually a “Win or Go Home” contest, being that Brimage had dropped two in a row and Tuerxun hadn’t won in the UFC.
It was a spirited affair, with both men getting their knocks in early. The loser of the fight knew they would probably be released from the promotion, so Brimage and Tuerxun left it all out in the cage. Brimage, 29, headed into the fight as winner of six of nine, but he had dropped back-to-back fights, including a loss to Conor McGregor. As for the 28-year-old Tuerxun, he headed into the fight seeking his first UFC victory.
Tuerxun signed with the UFC with an undefeated record, winning 14 in a row. Unfortunately for him, he lost his first two UFC fights. Brimage, a kickboxing expert, opened with a slew of kicks, punches and elbows, connecting early and often. But Tuerxun bounced off, utilizing superb footwork and head movement to level the pace.
Brimage landed his first good shot midway through the opening round, rocking him with a leg kick to the body. Brimage landed a fantastic kick to Tuerxun’s head with little over two minutes left in the opening frame, earning the stoppage via knockout. The ref had seen enough with 2:02 left in the first round.
With a slew of high-level female strawweights emerging from Australia, MMA is clearly on the rise in the Land Down Under. Australian superstars Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers are featured contestants on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, and hard-hitting Australian, Soa Palelei, has emerged as a top contender at heavyweight.
Later in the evening, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes on Michael Bisping, in a clash between two perennial title contenders. With a victory, Rockhold can solidify his spot as a top five contender at middleweight, and perhaps the next man in line to fight either Vitor Belfort or Chris Weidman.
As for Bisping, he’s been one of the best in the world at middleweight over the past decade. However, he has had a rough go of it against the upper echelon of the division. He is the classic example of beating the guys he’s supposed to beat, and losing to the athletes he’s expected to lose to. Bisping rarely rises to the occasion when he’s in the underdog role.
Additionally, he’s creeping up in age. If he loses to Rockhold, it’s unlikely he’ll ever earn a UFC world title shot, and that would be a shame considering he’s been one of the world’s best strikers since 2007. One thing to consider is that Bisping suffered a cut above his left eye just days before the Rockhold fight in Sydney. Will the cut play a factor at UFC Fight Night 55? That’s the tough question fight fans will find out later this evening.