Which is a shame, since you could make the argument that he’s the best middleweight in the world. His main event this Saturday against former two-division WSOF champion David Branch could be just what he needs to jump back into the spotlight.
Check out our top-rated sportsbooks for the best UFC odds on this matchup. Today, we’re breaking down the scrap and picking the best values.
UFC odds at BookMaker.eu
David Branch +326
Luke Rockhold -440
Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -135, under +115
Take away Rockhold’s flash KO loss to Bisping, and his five-fight winning streak at middleweight was one of the best in recent memory. The AKA rep racked up five straight finishes and took out the likes of Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Tim Boetsch and yes, Michael Bisping.
Rockhold passes the eyeball test in every way - and we’re not just talking about his rugged good looks. He’s one of the biggest 185-pounders on the roster, standing 6’3” with a reported walkaround weight north of 200 pounds. A natural athlete, Rockhold has good balance, excellent flexibility and fluid movements. Training at a top camp has sharpened all of his physical tools.
The 32-year old is dangerous in all MMA phases. On the feet, he’s a powerful, unorthodox striker with lethal kicks. His right round is a fight-ender, and Rockhold uses it both offensively and defensively. An awkward rhythm makes it difficult to time him and predict his strikes.
But where Rockhold does his best work is on the mat - his submission grappling is among the best in the UFC. Though he possesses excellent takedown defense, Rockhold often lets opponents get him to the ground, where he uses momentum to reverse positions and find subs. This is something you can’t teach.
David Branch’s second stint in the UFC comes on the heels of serving as a two-division champ in the WSOF. His time away served him well, as Branch has taken his meat-and-potatoes game to a steak-and-polenta level. He is a strong wrestler and a top-level grinder, but his game might not be dynamic enough to become a contender.
In his UFC “re-debut”, Branch had just enough to escape with a split decision win over Krzysztof Jotko. No longer a big fish in a small pond, Branch is now swimming with a great white shark.
UFC Betting Tips
Rockhold has the advantages in pretty much every aspect of this fight. He’s bigger, younger and a much more potent finisher. Sure, if he can be knocked out by Bisping, Branch has a puncher’s chance, but flukes do usually not happen in consecutive fights. The price is a bit high on Rockhold, so parlay his money line to win with another bet.
UFC Odds Pick: Parlay Rockhold to win -440
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