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UFC Fight Night 55 results: Luke Rockhold stops Michael Bisping, caps record night of finishes

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Mark Kolbe

When Luke Rockhold scored a guillotine choke finish of Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC Fight Night 55 on Friday night, he didn't just put the exclamation point on their feud and assert his spot near the top of the middleweight division.

He also sealed a UFC record. All 11 fights on the card at Sydney's Allphones Arena ended by way of finish, beating the previous record of 10, shared by Ultimate Fight Night 13 and UFC on Fuel 10.

"I'm the No. 1 contender," said Rockhold (13-2), the former Strikeforce champion. "I'll beat anyone, it doesn't matter."

The bout between Rockhold and Bisping was made as much because of the legit, longstanding grudge between the two as any other reason, and the pre-fight trash talk had many memorable moments.

Once the bout got underway, however, it unfolded as most suspected. The aging Bisping, while still plenty tough, simply had no answer for Rockhold's multifaceted attack.

Following an early, accidental headbutt in the opening round, Rockhold assumed control, keeping Bisping guessing with a wide variety of kicks. While Bisping caught several of them, several more landed flush.

The end came fast in the second round. Rockhold dropped Bisping with a high kick, landed several punches on the ground, then finally sunk in the guillotine choke, getting the tap at 57-second mark.

"I was pissed off," Rockhold said of the pre-fight banter. "I don't like people talking about training. Its in the past, I have a lot of respect for Michael, he's a warrior, and he gave it everything he's got."

Bisping was true to himself until the end.

"To be honest none of that really bothered me," Bisping said. "It was all genuine, but I have respect for it. I thought the first round was close, then he hit me with something, give it up to the motherf---."

Team Serra-Longo's Al Iaquinta scored the most impressive victory of his career in the co-main event, as he finished a game Ross Pearson in the second round of their lightweight bout.

The 27-year old out of Wantagh, New York dropped Pearson with what at first appeared to be a flash knockdown. But although Pearson sprang right back to his feet, it was obvious his head hadn't cleared, and Iaquinta left no doubt, as he cornered Pearson (16-8, 1 NC) and finished him with a flurry reminiscent of his teammate, Chris Weidman.

The bout was waved off at 1:39 of the round as Iaquinta (10-3-1) won for the fifth time in his past six fights.

In an exciting middleweight brawl, TUF: Smashes 1 winner Robert Whittaker got the best of Clint Hester, finishing him in the second round.

Both fighters had their moments over the course of the bout, but as time wore on, Whittaker's technique got the best of Hester's wild style. Whittaker (13-4) closed the distance, clinched, landed a brutal knee, then swarmed the grounded Hester (11-4) to finish the bout, which was waved off at 2:43 of the round.

"The game plan was to slow it down but I was having so much fun in there I couldn't," said the New South Wales native, who was making his debut at 185 pounds. "I just wanted to keep slugging away."

In the main card opener, crowd favorite Soa Palelei rallied in the second round to finish Walt Harris. After a competitive first round, which two judges scored for Harris, Harris noticeably slowed in the second, and the 37-year old out of Perth turned up the heat and got the job done.

A takedown, followed by a series of uncontested punches from the top, brought a halt to the bout with 11 seconds left in the round, as Harris looked like he didn't want to be there any more.

"My plan was to get on top of him because I knew if I did, he didn't have a chance.," said Palelei, who won for the 12th time in his past 13 fights.

Jake Matthews capped off the undercard broadcast with a flourish. Early in the second round of his bout with Vagner Rocha, The 20-year-old from Epping, Australia drilled Rocha was a Superman punch, then seamlessly transitioned into a no-hooks, rear-naked choke for a technical submission victory. The referee waved off the bout at 1:52 of the second round.

Matthews improved to 8-0 with seven finishes.

"I knew he was hurt so I pounced but once I had the sub in I knew I had to just keep holding on because as a black belt in jiu-jitsu, he probably wasn't going to tap."

In a light heavyweight bout, veteran Anthony Perosh scored a victory at age 42 in his hometown of Sydney, as he submitted Guto Innocente at 3:46 of round 1.

Perosh, who trained for the bout at Jackson's MMA, got Inocente (6-4) to the mat, passed guard, softened him up, and worked into position for a rear naked choke, getting the tap for his second win in his past three fights.

"It's always great fighting in Sydney in my hometown, but it's even greater getting a win," said Perosh (15-8). "You have to want it. It doesn't matter if you're 42 or 22. I want it, so I'm in here.

In a middleweight bout, Wisconsin's "Smilin'" Sam Alvey made short work of New Zealand native Dylan Andrews.

The end came about when Alvey shot for a takedown and Andrews landed awkwardly, hitting his head off the mat. Alvey immediately pivoted into position and rained down ground-and-pound for the TKO win at 2:16 of the opening round.

"My game plan was to always stay calm no matter what happened.  It was also to hit him harder and more often.  Furthermore, it was to defend the take down.  I didn't do that well but I got the result." said Alvey (23-6, 1 NC), who won for the fifth time in his past six fights.

Louis Smolka made his own impact on an action-packed night with a sensational finish of Richie Vaculik. Trailing 20-18 on all three scorecards, Smoulka came out in the third and nailed Vaculik (10-3) with a side kick to the head, then followed with a series of punches before the bout was waved off, 18 seconds into the round.

"I figured I was losing going into the third round and coach told me I had to finish him," Smolka said. "We had been working on those side kicks quite a bit because we saw he might be susceptible to them."

With the win, the 23-year old Hawaiian shook off his first career loss, a split decision against Chris Cariaso, and improved to 8-1 with seven finishes.

In a welterweight fight, Chatham, Ontario's Chris Clements had a memorable evening. First, the Team Tompkins fighter had an impressive first-round TKO of Australian Vik Grujic. Then, he explained his appeal with a memorable quote.

"I'm probably not going to be a UFC titleholder," said Clements (12-5, 1 NC), who won his fight in 3:06. "But I can be someone the fans want to see."

Later, Clements compared himself to retired fighter Chris Lytle, who is fondly remembered for engaging in exciting fights, win or lose.

"One of my favorite fighters of all time is Chris Lytle," he said. "He was never a champion but he had a great UFC career.  If my career could even be close to his, I would consider it a success."

Melbourne's Daniel Kelly kicked things of for the Australian fighters with a sweet finish of Luke Zachrich in a middleweight bout. Kelly got the best of things in the standup before taking it to the ground and working a slick Kimura for the finish at 4:27.

It was the fifth career submission win for the unbeaten 37-year-old (8-0), a four-time Olympic judoka, who was making his UFC debut.

In the evening's opening bout, Marcus Brimage made a statement with a highlight-reel head kick of China's Jumabieke Tuerxun. Brimage (7-3) caught Teurxun changing levels and caught him clean on the jaw with the kick, which sent Tuerxun (12-3) backwards to the mat.

The bout was waved off at 2:58 of round one, giving Brimage both his first win at 135 pounds and his first overall since 2012.

"When I clipped him I figured I had a flash KO, so I paused but then rushed him because you never know," Brimage said. "His wrestling credentials are impressive so I didn't want to give him a chance to recover. I'm excited to be at 135 lbs. now because I just feel sexier.  My abs are showing and I have a lot more speed."