Michael Bisping defeats Anderson Silva in Controversial Fight

UFC wanted to put on a major UFC bout on Fight Pass, and we got everything that makes this sport great and strange, with tons of athleticism, heart, controversy and oddities. The UFC Fight Night 84 main event was a wild fight, to say the least. Anderson Silva appeared to have won the fight with a flying knee at the end of the third round. But when the fight continued for the full five rounds, Michael Bisping was announced the winner by unanimous decision. A giant gash under his left eye couldn't keep Michael Bisping down, as the Manchester, England, native defeated Anderson Silva by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) in the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. Silva stepped into the Octagon for the first time since being suspended for a year after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs before and after his Jan. 31, 2015, fight against Nick Diaz.

Silva won the fight by unanimous decision, but the result was overturned to a no-contest. Tempers flared in the buildup to the fight. The hometown favorite called Silva "a fraud" and "a cheat," per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com. "And I will make you pay for your mistakes tomorrow night my friend," he said. Bisping did just enough to win. In his first fight in more than 12 months, it was tough to assess whether Silva was rusty or picking his spots. Bisping went for the knockout early, going for multiple kicks to the head, but Silva easily moved out of the way. With less than two minutes left in the first round, Silva began to turn up the aggressiveness. He attacked with right jabs and a couple of kicks but couldn't put Bisping down. The England native tried to go for the head two more times, but Silva easily dodged the maneuvers, completing a first round that looked even but went to Bisping because he landed more blows early in the frame. Bisping continued to look for the knockout shot, going for a couple of powerful right hands, but Silva evaded and taunted each time Bisping missed. Bisping finally got his fair share of shots in at the end of the first round. After spending the first round-and-a-half looking for an opening, Silva landed a couple of right hands midway through the second frame, which rattled Bisping. Bisping tried to respond with a left-jab, left-kick combo, but Silva moved and responded with a left hand to the jaw. Silva's strategy by this point was to tire Bisping. That almost backfired on the former middleweight champion with 30 seconds left in the round. Bisping connected with a left hand on Silva and knocked him to the ground. Bisping landed a few more left hands on top of his opponent, but nothing more could be done as time expired in the round. The Brazilian appeared to have made this an even fight, but that knockdown by Bisping was the difference-maker in the second round.

What happened at the conclusion of the third round will be the topic of discussion going forward. Toward the end of the frame, Bisping lost his mouthpiece and was calling for timeout to referee Herb Dean. He didn't allow a stoppage, though, and the Spider connected with a running left knee as the round came to an end, per UFC Europe. The flying knee left a huge gash under Bisping's left eye. After that, however, Silva could not take advantage. Instead of going for the points on the scorecard, Bisping landed a couple of shots in the final two rounds to gain back the advantage. Overall, Silva looked fresh. He appeared rusty at first, but that knee at the end of the third seemed like a sign he was going to win the fight. However, his not going for the final blow cost him the match. Bisping's victory should catapult him near the top of the middleweight division. Currently at No. 7, he'll likely bypass Silva and come close to getting a title shot that has long eluded him. And despite all of the bad blood that came from the buildup to this fight, Bisping has nothing but respect for the 40-year-old Silva. "I've wanted this fight my entire life," Bisping said. After that knee that seemed to change the course of the match, Silva thought the outcome was going to be different. "I thought it went differently," Silva said through translator Ed Soares, per Okamoto. "The mission was given and I thought it was completed, but I guess not."
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