And it's in situations like this that it's not just being able to fight that gets someone to the top of the sport; it's being able to handle everything else around what happens on Saturday nights in the Octagon.
The two-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS from Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET will feature a collision between lightweights Tony Martin (12-3) and Canada's Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2), Anthony Hamilton (15-7) fights Daniel Spitz (5-1) in a heavyweight tilt, No. 10-ranked middleweight Krzysztof Jotko (19-2) faces No. 14-ranked Uriah Hall (13-8), while bantamweights Luke Sanders (11-1) and Felipe Arantes (18-7-1, 2NC) open the telecast.
A little over a minute into the second, Branch initiated a clinch and pushed Rockhold against the cage.
The fight was Rockhold's first since losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping last June. Rockhold answered his aggression with some of his own in the second ground, where he grounded, mounted and eventually finished the Renzo Gracie-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Perry said the late change from Alves to Reyes did little to affect his focus. Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight at the 4:05 mark.
"It's part of the game, and you have to deal with everything", said the former middleweight champion before making a correction.
Arantes and Sanders were set to compete on the Fox Sports 1 portion of the preliminary card.
UFC officials felt there wasn't enough time to find a suitable replacement for Sanders to fight, which is why he was pulled from the card as well. It was one of those improbable upsets that mixed martial arts sometimes throws your way just to keep you from getting too comfortable. Rockhold managed to turn him moments later and dragged him to the mat before quickly taking full-mount. You better back out, get out of this thing while you still can. "Don't embarrass yourself GSP, back out". The UFC does a lot of dumb things, but picking the rich California surfer over the Long Island kid at Madison Square Garden?
And besides, what was true a year ago is true today. Since then, it's been a waiting game filled with injuries, rumors, and more waiting.
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