Welcome to our live coverage of UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs. Bisping from The O2 Arena in London, England. The event is headlined by a five-round bout in the UFC’s middleweight division as former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva returns from a year-long layoff to take on Michael Bisping in a highly-anticipated fight, and the biggest fight to air on the UFC’s digital network, UFC Fight Pass. The co-main event is another bout in the middleweight division as Gegard Mousasi takes on Thales Leites. Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 12:45 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
UFC Fight Night 84 Weigh-In Results
UFC Fight Night 84 DFS Playbook
UFC Fight Night 84 Observer Picks & Preview
Anderson Silva Should Still Have Too Much For Michael Bisping
Coverage provided by Will Cooling
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 12:45 PM ET/9:45 AM PT)
LIGHTWEIGHTS- DAVID TEYMUR (3-1, 0-0 UFC) VS. MARTIN SVENSSON (14-5, 0-0 UFC)
David Teymur knocked out Martin Svensson at one minutes twenty seconds of the 2nd round
David Teymur dominated the overwhelming majority of this fight, picking apart a diffident Martin Svensson with a variety of kicks. Particularly effective were those to the body in the first round. Svensson struggled to adjust on the feet and quickly tried to take the fight to the ground. Unfortunately for him his takedown attempts were ineffective and he was reduced to falling onto his back in a desperate attempt to trick his fellow Swede into following him. Unsurprisingly Teymur wasn’t tempted, and even managed some clever kicks to the upper body as Svensson was falling back. The end came when Teymur connected with a high kick early in the second round. He quickly followed up on a stunned opponent to end the fight at 1:20 of the second round. Afterwards he delivered an emotional promo, where after breaking down into tears, he talked about how much the victory meant to him.
LIGHTWEIGHTS- TEEMU PACKALEN (7-1, 0-1 UFC) VS. THIBAULT GOUTI (11-0, 0-0 UFC)
Teemu Packalen submitted Thibault Gouti at twenty-four seconds of the 1st round
Very much a blink and you’d miss it fight. In the first exchange, Packalen sneaks in an uppercut on the inside. Gouti never saw it coming and crumpled to the floor. Packalen swarmed all over him with ‘donkey kong’ style hammerfistsm, before taking his back and applying the rear naked choke for the win at 0:24 of the first round. Afterwards Packalen struggled through some stilted exchanges with Dan Hardy in English before cutting what seemed a fiery promo in Finnish.
HEAVYWEIGHTS- DANIEL OMIELANCZUK (17-5-1 1 NC, 2-2 UFC) VS. JARJIS DANHO (6-0 1 NC, 0-0 UFC)
Daniel Omielanczuk defeated Jarjis Danho by majority technical decision
The fight begun with Jarjis Danho winning the early exchanges, landing some strong punches on the inside. The fight then stalled up against the fence until Daniel Omielanczuk forced the separation. Omielanczuk pushed Danho back with some good kicks and punches of his own, but Danho regrouped to alnd some solid punches. At one point the big Pole seemed to be struggling but Danho didn’t press the advantage. Omielanczuk tries to take the fight to the ground a coupel of times but nothing comes of it. Towards the end of tbhe round they tie up against the fence again, with Danho doing a better job of stying active, working over Omielanczuk’s body. Danho’s round, 10-9.
Omielanczuk opens the round with a series of leg kicks, followed by an oblique kick. Both fighters seem very tired. Danho rushes wildly with an overhand right. Danho noticeably slower than in the first round. They have a sloppy grappling exchange after an attempted takedown fails. Omielanczuk lands a good straight right. They trade leg kicks whilst circling each other. They kept off the fence this round but there striking exchanges have been noticably slower and less dramtic. Danho lands a nice right cross. Omielanczuk throws a heavily telegraphed overhand right – very sloppy.
Danho tries to charge forward but doesn’t have the energy. They exchange in the middle of the Octagon, and either a glancing blow knocks Danho down or he loses his footing. Omielanczuk tries to captialise with ground and pound, but Danho gets to his feet. Omielanczuk lands some good knees but alas before one of them Danho had his hand on the ground. Referee stops the fight to give Danho time to recover from the illegal blow – Omielanczuk believed the stoppage was due to him winning. Danho still doesn’t seem himself after the restart, with Omielanczuk pushing the action, backing up the big Syrian and landing numerous blows. It’s all even going into the final round at 19-19.
They exchange kicks early on with Danho looking more dynamic than his sluggish second round performance. Omielanczuk controlling the distance with leg kicks. Referee is telling to them to up the ante. Danho tries to land a couple of overhand punches, but Omielanczuk blocks them. Danho barrels forward, trying to grab a Muay Thai clinch, and Omielanczuk counters with the most blatant low blow you will ever see. It was literally a punch on the inside to the balls. Danho goes down like he’s been shot, and Omielanczuk tries to capitalise with punches to the head. Danho struggling in the corner and the referee is ultimately forced to bring the doctor in. The fight is waved off.
Afterwards, Omielanczuk physically gestures to Danho that the problem is in his head not his balls. We go to a technical decision with Daniel Omielanczuk getting the nod by majority decision.
LIGHTWEIGHTS- NORMAN PARKE (21-4-1, 5-2-1 UFC) VS. RUSTAM KHABILOV (17-3, 3-2 UFC)
Rustam Khabilov defeated Norman Parke by unanimous decision
Both men start cautiously, with Norman Parke throwing the jab from range while Rustam Khabilov fights from range. A couple of shots at the body but neither man seems willing to engage. Parke lunges forward with an overhand punch. Khabilov goes for a throw, gets Parke off his feet but the Northern Irishman does a good job of landing on his knees. Parke escapes back to his feet. Parke counters the jab with a overhand right that just grazes Khabilov. Parke lands a good right cross, and once again goes for widly telegraphed overhand punches. Its stuff like that which drives boxing fans nuts, sloppy technique. A short stoppage due to an illegal blow, both men throw kicks that don’t quite connect. Khabilov goes for a takedown, and once again gets Parke up only for the Northern Irishman to land on his knees. Parke maintains position, gets back to his feet and forces the break. A welcome increase in tempo after the sluggish heavyweight fight but not much more happened. In such a low action fight the judges could pick either man but the two takedowns probably make it Khabilov’s, 10-9.
Parke shows aggressive intent at the start of the second round, positively moving forward and backing up Khabilov. He’s however not actually achieving very much of not, with few of his shots landing. Best shots include Parke landing a right hand that seems to startle Khabilov and working over Khabilov’s body and legs with kicks. Alas fundamentally the action in the first four minutes is meaningless, Parke stalking Khabilov, potshotting him at best or missing at worst. Parke deviates from his strategy, attempting to take his opponent down. It’s a decision to engage that is a mistake, with Khabilov countering and finally completing a takedown. He however does nothing from top position despite having a full minute to do so. Given how little he had done in the preceding four minutes that’s not enough to steal the round. It’s all even at 19-19.
We could do with something actually happening in this round. Khabilov is moving forward more in this round, looking to land counter punches. Parke goes forward and actually completes the takedown! He quickly takes Khabilov’s back, and works for the rear-naked choke. Khabilov doing a good job of protecting his neck. Khabilov manages to sit up, Parke readjusts and almost gets the choke applied, only for Khabilov to sweep him and escape. Khabilov then takes Parke down, and starts working over him with half-hearted ground and pound. Khabilov sloppily allows Parke to scoot away from him, but quickly grabs Parke again and slams him down. Khabilov has his back but never threatens with the submission. Very even round where both men got into dominate positions but the proceeded to do nothing. I guess I go with Parke as he had the dominate position for longer and did actually work for a submission, but either man could be judged the winner. And indeed all three judges disagree, giving the fight to Khabilov.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS- BRAD SCOTT (10-3, 2-2 UFC) VS. KRZYSZTOF JOTKO (16-1, 3-1 UFC)
Krzysztof Jotko defeated Brad Scott by unanimous decision
Krzysztof Jotko looking to land kicks to begin with but Brad Scott is doing a good job of blocking them. Not doing quite so well at providing his own offence. Scott now backing Jotko up by moving forward. They trade straight punches to the body. Scott with a high knee. Jotko has a very odd technique, constantly moving his body even when standing still. Scott comes move into the fight as the round goes on, landing more as his hands become looser. He probably does enough to steal a round that had been drifting towards Jotko, stunning his opponent with a solid punch and following up with strong shots up against the fence. 10-9 to Scott.
Jotko tries to impose himself in the early striking exchanges but Scott quickly ties him up against the fence. They separate, and proceed to have a bad kickboxing match, with neither man throwing much let alone landing anything of note. Jotko goes for a takedown after landing a straight punch to the body, but Scott is able to block it. Alas its not a clean separation, with Jotko holding onto the clinch for a prolonged period, without really doing anything. They disengage and Scott resumes walking down Jotko all over the Octagon without ever landing a significant punch. The noteable thing is that neither man is willing to throw a meaningful combination which is reducing their ability to catch their opponent. As I write that Jotko does put some shots together, with a nice sequence that ends with a spinning back fist. I guess that is enough to take the round 19-19.
Jotko comes out with more intent, moving forward and looking to land shots on the inside. Jotko follows a front kick to the body with a straight punch. Jotko lands a low kick after Scott blocked a punch. Jotko looks exhausted, fighting with his mouth open. Jotko lands a clubbing blow to the back of the head that causes Scott to stumble. Jokto starting to look the more impressive, working Scott over with kicks. He stumbles slightly but quickly recovers. Jotko lands a high kick and then follows with a kick to the body. Scott really isn’t being active enough, seemingly content to maintain centre position whilst blocking Jotko’s shots. Jotko actually gets a straight punch through Scott’s defences. Jotko counters a legkick with a takedown that may well win him the fight. Scott tries to get back up but Jotko drags him back down. Jotko then rests in top position until a couple of big punches at the very end. On my scorecard that was Jotko’s round, and therefore he takes the fight 29-28. All three judges agree, with one judge actually having him ahead on all three rounds. The winner then proceeds to breakout some dance move.
FEATHERWEIGHTS- ARNOLD ALLEN (10-1, 1-0 UFC) VS. YAOTZIN MEZA (21-10 1 NC, 2-3 1 NC UFC)
Arnold Allen defeated Yaotzin Meza by unanimous decision
Energetic start as both men seek to land up close. Arnold Allen stuns Yaotzin Meza with a straight punch taht connects cleanly. Allen looking the cleaner striker, comfortably landing from range, whilst Meza repeatedly looks to barrell in and land short punches. Meza goes for a takedown, and Allen tries to counter with a trip. Meza blocks, and continues with the takedown attempt. Meza pushes Allen up against the cage, holding there for a prolonged period. Allen reverses the position, and trips Meza to the ground. Meza starts to work for a triangle choke, but Allen is doing a good job of defending. Allend escapes Meza’s guard, stands up, starts kicking the legs of a prone Mesa. The referee forces Meza to stand up. Round closes with Allen landing a left hook. Good, even round. I think Allen did enough to take the round, 10-9.
Meza throws a high kick, Allen evades it, and trips Meza. Allen kicks the legs of the prone Meza, but decides not to go to ground. A wise call in all likelihood. They mvoe away from the fence, and Allen is using his jab to dominate ring positioning. He connects with a solid straight right. Meza throws a uppercut without success. Meza lands a leg-kick and has to move backwards quickly to prevent Allen connecting with a superman punch. Meza charges in for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Meza claims that he was poked in the eye by Allen during the grappling exchange. Not much happens after the restart with Allen pushing the action without actually connecting with anything until the very end. There he does land a right cross but Meza is able to avoid taking further damange. However on my scorecard is in trouble, as I have Allen winning 20-18.
Allen starts the third round by winning a left hook. Meza blocks a high kick. Meza goes for the takedown, which Allen defends well. The defensive wrestling in British MMA has improved but where British fighters are still week is escaping after a successful brawl. Allen is no exception, needing the referee to separate him from a Meza who had pushed him up against the cage. Allen decides that now he wants the fight to go to the ground, looking to trip Meza. Meza defends and again goes for the takedown. Allen defends the initial shot, but doesn’t separate, and they grapple for an extended period up against the cage. Meza finally gets the takedown but Allen rolls through and gets top position. Allen has Meza’s back but doesn’t do anything with it. Allen defends another takedown attempt from Meza but again lets himself get sucked into a clinch against the cage. Meza goes for another takedown, Allen lands a high knee, and again with up against the cage. Allen now tying Meza up against the cage. And out of nowhere, Allen lights Meza up. He connects with a straight punch, follows up with a kick to the body and then knocks Meza down with wild right-left combinations up against the cage. Meza goes down and is very much saved by the bell. Indeed to begin with it seems like there had been a last-minute knockout, with Meza’s cornerman Benson Henderson remonstrating with the referee. Not being knocked out is alas a distinction without a difference for Meza, as he’s clearly lost the fight. That is indeed the view of all three judges.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS- SCOTT ASKHAM (13-2, 1-2 UFC) VS. CHRIS DEMPSEY (11-3, 1-2 UFC)
Scott Askham knocked out Chris Dempsey at XX:XX of the first round
This was a fun fight. Chris Dempsey is mauling Scott Askham due to the usual reason that Englishmen can’t wrestle. From the very first exchange he’s got Askham on the ground and is working for a submission. The crowd is living and dying with every desperation escape Askham makes, especially as its quickly followed by being taken down quickly. They separated, and Askham lands an overhand right that badly stuns Dempsey. The American is literally dancing in the middle of the Octagon. Askham is then ice-cool, connecting with a perfect high kick to secure the victory.
BANTAMWEIGHTS- DAVEY GRANT (9-2, 0-1 UFC) VS. MARLON VERA (7-2-1, 1-1 UFC)
Davey Grant defeated Marlon Vera by unanimous decision
Davey Grant is the agressor to begin with, landing several kicks to the body. Vera catches one, and traps Grant in the clinch. Grant escapes, and they trade kicks. Grant lands a particularly good leg kick that caused Vera to wince. Grant catches Vera on the inside with a couple of short punches. Vera drops down to attack Grant’s legs, but is too close to the cage. The referee moves them slightly always from the fence, Grant escapes the leglock and then proceeds to start kicking the hell out of Vera’s legs much to the amusement of the crowd. Vera almost grabs Grant’s legs but the Englishmen escapes. Vera has more luck when he jumps up and takes Grant’s back, securing the rear-naked choke. Grant however escapes, sweeps into top position and ends the round striking from top position. Grant’s round, 10-9.
There’s the hint of a cut on the top of Grant’s head which soon gushes blood after its clipped by Vera in the opening exchanges. Grant is the aggressor but both men are landing very good shots – including some good kicks to the body. The bigger man, Grant bullies Vera up against the cage, landing several clubbing short-punches. Vera backs away, and Grant takes the fight to the ground. Grant struggles to impose himself, with Vera’s defensive grappling frustraing the Englishman. The referee eventually stands them up due to Vera grabbing the fence. Grant lands a strong kick to the body and then once again takes Vera down. Not sure this is the wisest strategy, Grant is dominating the standup yet doesn’t seem to be able to do anything on the ground with Vera. Grant stands up to kick Vera’s legs and then dives back in to his guard. Another good round for Grant. 20-18
Grant follows up some early success on the feet with a strong takdown attempt. Vera seeks to roll with the and end up on top, but Grant is able to counter this. They’re up against the cage, but Grant isn’t really able to do anything due to Vera’s guard. Grant stands up but then decides to dive back in for no reason. Vera trying to go for armbars but doesn’t particularly threaten with them. Vera throwing some elbows off the bottom. Grant isn’t excelling on top, just seeking to throw punches from inside guard rather than improve position. The referee stands them up. Grant immediately looks so much better on the feet, lighting Vera up with solid punches and a good kick to the mid-section. Vera tries to counter with a running high-knee! Grant goes for another takedown (why!) but doesn’t get it. Even exchanges to the end. Another clear ound for Grant who’s won 30-27 on my scorecard.
All three judges score it 30-26 for Grant due to a Vera having been deducted a point due to grabbing the fence in the third round.
FEATHERWEIGHTS- MIKE WILKINSON (9-1, 2-1 UFC) VS. MAKWAN AMIRKHANI (12-2, 2-0 UFC)
Makwan Amirkhani defeated Mike Wilkinson by unanimous decision
This rivalry has become increasingly heated over the past week, especially after their controntation yesterday at the weigh-ins. They quickly go to ground, with Wilkinson trying to secure a submission from the bottom. Even grappling exchanges with Wilkinson’s guard doing a good job of keeping Amirkhani quiet. Amirkhani stands up, only to dive back in with a punch. Amirkhani escapes the guard, and moves to side control. He briefly moves to mount but Wilkinson hip escapes back to guard. This has been quite a good technical grappling exchange but Amirkhani seems to be getting frurstated as he just starts throwing big punches from the top. Wilkinson briefly threatens with the armbar towards the end but Amirkhani’s round. 10-9 to Mr Finland
Amirkhani starts the round with a bang, landing a great jumping knee. He immediately gets Wilkinson back on the ground, working over him in side control. Once again he looks to trap the arm of Wilkinson, so giving the Englishman the chance to escape back to his feet. It’s then Wilkinson’s turn to take the fight to the ground, securing a great choke that very nearly steals the fight from the hitherto dominate Finn. Amirkhani escapes only to almost succumb to a guillotine. He escapes that, assumes top position and quickly moves. Wilkinson does a good job of stifling him. Wilkinson with elbows from the bottom. Amirkhani gets to his feet and kicks Wilkinson’s legs, but quickly gets back on top. Very fun round. Amirkhani has the 20-18 advantage and Wilkinson will need to do something special to avoid defeat.
Both men look tired after what has been a very fast paced ten minutes. They quickly end up back on the ground, with Amirkhani once again looking to push the action from top position. They briefly get up, Amirkhani lands a straight punch and takes Wilkinson down, but in the scramble its the Englishman who secures control. Wilkinson looking to push the advantage, landing good shots from top position. Not threatening with any submissions however. Amirkhani sweeps Wilkinson, stands-up, tries to hit Wilkinson as he stands-up, Wilkinson then trips him down and tries to him on the way down. Wilkinson on top, in half guard. Wilkinson connecting with some elbows and punches from the top. Amirkhani again reverse position, pushing Wilkinson onto his back, and quickly moving to the mount. Amirkhani rides out the remaining thirty seconds, despite Wilkinson best attempts to buck him. At one point, Wilkinson even tries to choke him from the bottom! Good end to what was a very fun fight. That round could have gone to either man but the fight was clearly Amirkhani’s. All three judges agree, with Mr. Finland getting the decision on all three judges’ scorecards, with one judging giving him all three rounds.
MAIN CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 4 PM ET/1 PM PT)
BANTAMWEIGHTS- (#15) FRANCISCO RIVERA (11-5 1 NC, 4-4 1 NC UFC) VS. BRAD PICKETT (24-11, 4-6 UFC)
Brad Pickett defeated Francisco Rivera by split decision
Brad Pickett looking to keep it tidy in the early exchanges, leading with his jab and keeping his guard high. They exchanges leg kicks. Pickett keeps ducking down as if to throw an overhand punch, but Rivera si doing a good job of keeping his boxing guard high. A couple of jabs from Rivera land. Pickett tries to chase Rivera down but to no avail. Pickett lands a straight punch to the mid-section. Rivera lands a glancing blow and a much more solid high kick. Rivera knocks Pickett down with the type of ‘didn’t see it coming’ short punch on the inside that caused him to lose to Renan Barao in his UFC UK debut. Rivera getting the better of the striking exchanges, causing Pickett’s head to snap back with a jab. Good exhange with Pickett successfully fighting fire with fire although he does still seem to be the less durable of the two men. The fight ends with Pickett trying for a takedown after a GREAT boxing exchange, that some both men landing solid shots. This is such a breath of fresh air after the dearth of quality striking combinations in the undercard. Rivera’s round, 10-9.
Rivera gets the better of enough fast exchange of punches, and then lands a solid overhand right. Rivera throws several overhand punches at the slightly shorter Pickett, although none of them quite land. Both men are moving noticeably slower and throwing few punches after their efforts in the first round. Pickett goes for a takedown, gets it, does nothing, decides to stand back up. Fair enough. Rivera lands a good leg kick, then counters Pickett’s leg kick with a straight punch. Rivera lands enough solid punch. This round is there for the taking in the final minute. Both men miss with shots, including a nice spinning back kick from Pickett. Rivera gets a flash takedown but Pickett gets straight back up. Pickett puts together a left-right combination that has Rivera backing and covering up. The follow-up shot lands low, way low, much to Rivera’s discomfort. And the restart a slightly disappointing rond flares back into life, with both men throwing down as the round comes to an end. Yeesh….you really could score that either way. Neither man dominated, but while Pickett got the better takedown, Rivera’s striking was the better of the two. 20-18 to Rivera. Pickett needs the finish on my card.
Pickett goes for the takedown, Rivera drops down to defend. Pickett eventually completes the takedown. Pickett is in side control but Rivera is controlling his head. Pickett pops his head out but Rivera escapes back to guard. The referee stands them up. It would be fair to say that this round has not been as frenetic as the first. Both men are still throwing, but because they’ve stopped putting together combinations they’re landing a lot less. Rivera grabs a kick from Pickett, and punishes him with a couple of quick punches to the head. Rivera gets a quick takedown, but Pickett gets back up quickly. Pickett then slams Rivera to the ground. Pickett moves to side control but his not really doing anything with the position. The fight drifts to an end. That was Pickett’s round but I think he’ll lose the decision. A fun fight even if neither man could maintain the pace set in the first round.
And the judges…disagree! All three score the fight 29-28 but two of them give it to Pickett. The swing round must have been the second (will confirm when I see the scorecards later), which was genuinely close with there being a perfectly justifable argument that Pickett’s superior grappling should have counted for more than Rivera’s greater success standing. Pickett collapses to the floor upon hearing the result, saying that if he had lost then he would have retired. He talks about how much the sport means to him and pledged to continue with the win.
WELTERWEIGHTS- TOM BREESE (9-0, 2-0 UFC) VS. KEITA NAKAMURA (31-6-2 1 NC, 1-3 UFC)
Tom Breese defeated Keita Nakamura by unanimous decision
Tom Breese is a top British prospect. They word in that phrase is ‘British’ as he quickly gets taken down by Keita Nakamura. Breese does nicely escape from the bottom and get to his feet however. Not much happens, with both men seemingly content to pick their spots and let the fight drift. Breese is the much bigger man, and his strikes do seem to have more power than his opponents but at no point was he able to have Nakamura in trouble. Nakamura did seem to startle the Englishman on one occassion and he did get the takedown, so its probably his round. But again, nothing much happened so it was something of a crap shot. 10-9 Nakamura.
The round starts with Breese quickly ending up on his back but again he manages to reverse, this time sweeping into top position. This is the bizarre thing with British fighters, their grappling has generally improved to a high standard but there are still problems with takedown defence. Nakamura ties Breese up, Breese escapes and seeks to improve his position. Nothing much is happening, and I think that says more about Breese’s rather mechnical offensive grappling than Nakamura’s defence. Breese finally sees the opportunity to land some hard punches, but in doing so creates the space for Nakamura to escape from under him. Nakamura seeks to go on the offensive but Breese defends well against what looked like an attempted omoplata. The crowd is losing patience with what has been a bloodless battle. Breese’s round, and so we are all square going into the final round.
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This lifeless bout does not pick up with the third round, with the much of the opening exchanges being taken by Nakamura struggling to get Breese to the ground. He finally does so, only for Breese to roll through for a leg-lock. Of course Breese doesn’t actually do anything with the leg-lock, that’d be silly. Nakamura escapes and gains top position. Breese tries to stand up but Nakamura doing a good job of holding him. Breese eventually does escape but they are still entagled in a never-ending, slow-motion scramble that isn’t going anywhere. In fairness, Breese seems to be trying to go for a reverse triangle but it takes so long to apply that Nakamura was never in danager. As for who won the round, I guess that I would say Breese as he ‘threatened’ with two submissions.
The judges agree, with all three giving Breese the nod. Indeed two of them gave him all three rounds. Afterwards Breese apologised for his performance, saying that he felt lacked energy and was frustrated about not being more impressive inside the Octagon.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS- (#9) GEGARD MOUSASI (37-6-2, 4-3 UFC) VS. (#10) THALES LEITES (25-5, 10-4 UFC)
Gegard Mousasi defeated Thales Leites by unanimous decision
Leites goes immediately for the takedown but Mousasi blocks. They are up against the cage as Leites tries to complete the takedown. Leites successfully pulls Mousasi down, only for Mousasi to end up on top, so Leites has to get back to his knees and try for the takedown again, all without letting go. They finally disengage. The key for Leites is not to be too aggressive, Mousasi is a counter striker with the technique to capitalise on any openings left by rushing in. Mousasi throwing out the jab, some leg kicks from Leites. Leites misses with a wild cross. Leites ducks under a punch, tries for the takedown but Mousasi blocks. Leites as Mousasi up against the cage but can’t get him down. Leites connects with some good counter punches but Mousasi seems unphased. The round ends. I do not envy the judges on that one. Leites tried to do a lot of stuff but succeeded at next to nothing. Mousasi tried hardly anything but successfully passed the very low bar he set himself. Hmmmm…I gues Leites but let’s be honest nothing happenbed. Leites, 10-9.
Mousasi is stalking Leites, although the Brazilian to throw whatever he wants from a safe range, whilst he finds the opening for the perfect punch. This is not the most eye-catching tactic. Leites does not connect with a couple of solid punches but nothing really seems to be working. Leites does go for the takedown but Mousasi easily blocks the attempt. Leites is clearly getting frustrated, restorting to wild crosses and overhand punches in an attempt to force the issue. Mousasi is starting to land more, with his jab proving particularly effective. Well relatively speaking. Leites is increasingly leaving himself open to counters from Mousasi by throwing crosses right in front of him. Mousasi picking the tempo up ever so slightly, landed a normal couple of good straight punches. Leites now noticeably bleeding. Leites tries to charge in but Mousasi evades. Leites tries for the takedown, Mousasi escapes, then Leites tries to goad him into a grappling battle. Mousasi kicks the prone Leites legs – I fear tonight’s agents are overusing that spot. Mousasi’s round, and it is now 19-19.
Leites again comes forward positively to start the round but somehow ends up on his back with Mousasi on top position. I’m suddenly getting King Mo vs. Mousasi flashbacks. Mousasi lets him up after doing nothing from top position. Mousasi throws out the jab, and then actually puts togther a combination! Leites lands a punch to the mid-section, tries to throw a kick there but Mousasi catches it. Mousasi goes forward to land a straight punch but almost leaves himself open for the takedown. Ooops. Leites actually lands some clubbing blows as an actually fight threatens to break out. Unfortunately his swinging blows leave so much space for Mousasi to counter that Leites is soon forced to fall back. Mousasi gets the takedown, lays on top of Leites and the crowd are not happy. They stay in that position for a full minute until the buzzer goes to tell the fighters to stop fighting. Not sure that’s possible if they never started. Mousasi’s round, making him the winner on my scorecard, 29-28. The judges agree with a couple giving him all three rounds. Mousasi defends himself from the implication that he’s boring, saying that he dominated two rounds and wasn’t going to throw it all way in the last thirty seconds. He then adds that he took risks in his last fight and paid the price. I actually think we all paid the price for being to watch that fight but I take the point.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS- (#5) ANDERSON SILVA (33-6 1 NC, 16-2 1 NC) VS. (#7) MICHAEL BISPING (27-7, 17-7 UFC)
Michael Bisping defeated Anderson Silva by unanimous decision
Any doubt about whether we would have a partisan crowd is quickly dismissed. Thunderous cheers for Michael Bisping are matched by the loud and nearly universal booing of Anderson Silva as he walked to the Octagon. Remember that as the O2 Arena was sold out before Silva was announced as Bisping’s opponent we don’t have the ususal contingent of Brazilian fans. The reaction becomes more mixed as he enters the Octagon but there’s no doubt about it – people want Bisping to maintain his perfect home record and secure the biggest win of his career.
Bisping starts positively, following Silva around the Octagon. Silva moving around well, avoids a high kick from Bisping. Silva with a jab. Bisping gets one through as well. Silva moving his hands in front of Bisping to distract him. Silva takes a clean punch from Bisping. Silva lands a leg kick, and then an oblique kick. Bisping misses with a high kick. Bisping lands a jab. Bisping lands a high kick. Silva lands a punch. Silva backs Bisping up against the cage, and seems to start getting loose with his striking but Bisping manages to force him back. Silva puts together a good kicking combination. Silva and Bisping dancing around each other, Silva beckons Bisping to come forward. Silva starting to get cocky. Evades three high kicks from Bisping in quick succession by just moving his head. Silva on the offensive, Bisping clips him with a punch that wobbles him but Silva comes back strong. Too men square off after the round ends. Bisping’s round but Silva starting up the band.
Bisping has Silva up against the cage. Silva is taunting Bisping; Bisping is now Stephen Bonnar throwing punches to a SIlva who is keeping his back rooted to the Octagon cage. Silva smiles at Bisping when he lands a punch. Bisping backs off and tells SIlva to fight properly. Bisping tries to force the issue but Silva responds by dancing in the centre of the Octagon. SIlva charges forward with a straight punch that seems to hurt Bisping. Bisping storms back but can’t land anything. Silva starts dancing in the Octagon again. Lands a good back fist, and then a kick. Bisping tries to land an overhand punch but SIlva counters. Big “Let’s Go Bisping” chant, the home crowd can sense he’s in trouble. Silva moving his head to evade the punches. And then it gets even weirder. Bisping lands a solid punch and knocks Silva on his ass. Bisping goes for the kill but Silva looks surprisingly alert and tries to hit the incoming Brit. It doesn’t work, he’s overwhelmed and does well to not be finished. Bisping’s round, could easily be a 10-8. It’s certainly 20-18 for Bisping.
The O2 Arena is buzzing now, they sense the upset victory is on. Nothing of note happens early on as both men keep each other at distance by throwing their jab out. Bisping is doing a good job of not falling back, always looking to come forward. Bisping throws a kick to the body. Bisping throws another kick and Silva catches it. Trips Bisping, throws kicks at his legs. Silva lands a kick of his own. The round ends with Silva picking up steam. He’s throwing with real intent. And then all hell breaks loose. He lands a picture perfect Muay Thai knee either on the buzzer or just after. Bisping goes out like he’s been shot, Silva thinks he’s won, people are all over the Octagon. Silva has to be coaxed off the top of cage. Bisping is deserately put back together whilst the Octagon is clear. Absolutely crazy scenes. If we can accept the knee as legitimate then that’s a possibe 10-8 round to Silva. If its not a legitimate blow then that could easily be Bisping’s round. Let’s split the different and give it to Silva 10-9. That makes it 29-28.
Bisping comes out surprisingly strongly in the fourth, to which Silva responds by kicking him low. We restart. Silva is again standing right in front of Bisping, with his back to the cage, and only moving to evade the punches. He goes mock limp. Silva starting to throw punches at Bisping. Silva’s reflexes even now are so fast, moving his head all over the place to avoid these punches. We’re back in the centre of the Octagon. Kick to the body by Silva. This is getting an increasingly bad tempered fight. Silva complains about being poked in the eye. Doctor takes a look at him. The fight restarts. Bisping lands a clubbing overhand right. Silva lands a kick to the knee. Bisping charges forward and connects. Bisping puts some punches to gether in the corner. Silva goes for a kick but it leaves him off balance. Silva lands an elbow, it hurts Bisping. And at the very end of the fight he connects with a picture perfect Superman punch. This fight is absolutely nuts. Silva’s round, 10-9. The fight is 38-38.
This fight is on a knife edge, with either man capable of winning the decision. The question is does Anderson go for the finish earlier than in the previous two rounds. Silva starts with a high kick. Bisping comes in but Silva counters with a right hand. Silva lands another high kick. Silva noticeably more aggressive. Silva with a kick to the mid-section. Silva misses with a wild overhand punch. Ther referee calls the doctor in to take a look at Bisping’s eye. The crowd is going absolutely crazy. Silva misses with a elbow. Bisping threatening with punches and Silva hits him with a front kick square to the face. Bisping is doing remarkably well to not wilt under this bombardment, he’s not taking a single backward step. Bisping is a bloody mess. Bisping goes for a takedown but Silva easily stops it. Silva lands a jab straight to the jaw of Bisping. Bisping lands a punch, Silva spins round with a kick to the mid-section. They go the distance. Incredible fight.
I have it 48-47 for Anderson Silva. You really could have a wide range of scores after all that. What we know is that Silva clearly won the final two rounds 10-9. I feel fairly confident that Bisping won the first round 10-9 too. Its rounds two and three are key. If the knee strike wasn’t a legal blow then that would mean the round could be scored for Bisping. If round two was a 10-8 then Bisping could secure a majority draw even after losing the final three rounds.
The judges all give the fight to Bisping 48-47. Hmmmmm, we’ll need to look at the scorecards when they come. Emotional scenes as Bisping embraces his parents and then talks about how much Anderson Silva meant to him. There was some booing of the decision. Bisping talks title shot. Silva does not talk retirement.