UFC Fight Night 55 & 56: Winners and losers

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There were showdowns in Sidney and Brazil on Saturday, as the UFC put on Fight Night 55 and 56 as part of their 'Super Saturday' international events.

It was the fifth international double header of the year for the UFC and it will certainly be a weekend to remember as Fight Night 55 set the record for most finishes on a single card - with all 11 fights ending before the final bell.

Here though, we're out to analyse the winners, and losers, and look at what the future holds for them.

Winner - Luke Rockhold

The weekend's big winner was Luke Rockhold, with the American notching up his third successive win via finish, by making Michael Bisping tap in the main event of Fight Night 55.

He's now on course for a title shot, having bounced back impressively from a devastating KO loss to Vitor Belfort last year and has put himself on top of the best of the rest.

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He'll be watching the build-up to UFC 184 with a keen-eye, knowing that if Belfort or Middleweight champ, Chris Weidman, have to pull out via injury, he could be called upon to challenge for the title or possible interim (if Weidman is hurt).

His stock is an all-time high in the division and it looks like he can do no wrong at the moment.

Loser - Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua

Perhaps the biggest loser coming out of this weekend's events was 'Shogun' Rua.

The Brazilian and former Light Heavyweight champ lost to Ovince St. Preux in just 34 seconds in front of a raucous home crowd and now many are wondering if it's time for him to hang up the gloves.

In a open, yet vague, Facebook post - Shogun hinted at a possible drop to middleweight as his next step. Yet, at 1-4 in his last five fights, there can't be too much hope for his pursuit of success.

He's only 32 years old, but at this point in time, he's past his prime and barring a miracle turn around, it would be wiser to just take a back seat and let the new guys take over.

Loser - Ovince St. Preux

The undefeated light heavyweight fighter landed perhaps the biggest win of his career on Saturday when he beat 'Shogun' Rua, yet it was post-fight call outs that left him a loser.

If Phil Davis was being overzealous in his callout of Anderson Silva, then St. Preux was being as equally underwhelming in his challenges to Fabio Maldonado and Anthony Perosh.

Maldonado is ranked #14 but like Perosh, far from a title contender. At a point when he should be looking to leap up the division towards title contention, it just seems as if he wants some easy wins to pad that record.

Considering the backlash to his callouts, UFC matchmaker, Joe Silva, is unlikely to grant his wish. Perhaps Alexander Gustafsson, who's in need of an opponent, would serve as a more credible threat?

Winner - Al Iaquinta

There was a buzz around Ross Pearson as the UK's best chance of winning a UFC title, but Al Iaquinta was having none of that as he hammered the Brit.

Winning in the second round via knockout (punches), Iaquinta showed the signs of promise that many saw in him during his time on The Ultimate Fighter 15.

Iaquinta is 4-1 in his last five fights and making a name for himself in the Lightweight division. Despite the stacked division, there's always a good chance his next fight puts him in the top 15.

Losers - UK's hope of a UFC champion

With knockout losses for Michael Bisping and Ross Pearson at Fight Night 55 and Jimi Manuwa having to pull out of Fight Night 56, it was a tough night for UK MMA.

Bisping has solidified himself as the 'gatekeeper' of the middleweight division, filling the gap of Yushin Okami, following yet another wasted chance at a title shot.

Pearson, while still young, will have to do a lot of recovery work next year in the stacked lightweight division, and his chances of being ranked have taken a big hit. Without a big 2015, he could get lost in the shuffle.

While Manuwa, who wasn't looking likely for a title shot in the near future, lost out big time at capitalising on an injured Shogun, and instead will be lost among the shuffle in the light heavyweight division.

Winners - UFC viewers

With 11 finishes from 11 fights at Fight Night 55, in so many various and interesting ways, the viewers won out this weekend.

If you ignore the controversial decision in Brazil, there was some good action there as well but it was all about Sydney on Saturday and it bought it big time.

There was barely enough highlight reel for all the finishes and it was one of the most action packed and exciting cards in years, and it certainly put over the UFC well in Australia.

Michael Bisping
Vitor Belfort

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