Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 21 February 2010

Michael Bisping Beaten by the Axe Murderer

The 'Axe Murderer' Wanderlei Silva looked rejuvenated last night in his performance at UFC 110, defeating Michael Bisping on a unanimous decision after the fight went through all three rounds.

Both fights exchanged blows throughout a close fight. The Brit, Bisping connected a few times early on and took Silva down to the mat on a couple of occasions. But the Brazilian, having lost 5 of his last 6 bouts scored with a rally of punches at the end of the first and third round that swayed the judges scores in his favour.

The Count, coming off an impressive victory over over Denis Kang in November, was caught in a guillotine choke at the end of the second round after attempting to take Silva down. Time also saved him at the end of the final round as Silva knocked him down to the ground and was about to start a flurry of punches before the referee intervened at the bell. However, he did not do enough to win the fight in the 15 minutes as the Axe Murderer was comfortably attacking him in the final round.

Having lost to Dan Henderson in July last year, followed by this one, Michael Bisping is a long long way from a title shot that seems unlikely for him to ever get now.

On the British front, Dan Hardy will become the first ever Brit to get a title shot as he takes on Georges St Pierre for the Welterweight Championship in New Jersey on March 27th. Hardy's odds are going to be long to say the least and as supportive of the Brits as I am, I am like everybody else who doesn't give him a chance in this match! He's represented Britain well in the UFC and with Michael Bisping has helped to expand the popularity of the sport over here.

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Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 9 August 2009

Can anyone stop Anderson Silva?

This morning's co-main event at UFC 101 saw the dominance of Anderson Silva in the mixed martial arts world.

Stepping up a weight class and fighting former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion in Forrest Griffin proved to be a simple task for The Spider who knocked Griffin out with a jab whilst stepping backwards, in less than 3 and a half minutes during the opening round.

Prior to that, Silva had helped Griffin back to his feet after knocking him down, and kept his hands by his side for periods to let Griffin get some blows in after feeling him out for the first minute and a half of the fight. It was to no avail to Forrest, who failed to make any impact, as Silva dodged everything and only required a few shots of his own to win the fight, in what was correctly pointed out by Joe Rogan, "an embarrassing knockout".

So who's next in line for Anderson Silva? He already owns the middleweight division that includes two victories over Rich Franklin and one over Dan Henderson. There is not a worthy challenger left at 185, and stepping up to 205 would be the most-exciting prospect for UFC fans. Current champion Lyoto Machida, a friend of Anderson's is already dominant in this division and would make for a great challenge. Silva did state in the post-match interview he isn't as big as the opposition in the division, but there's no doubt he is the most gifted.

The UFC is at it's peak of champions right now, with BJ Penn in the Lightweight division being too good for any opposition, beating Kenny Florian in the main event on Sunday morning to defend his title. Georges St Pierre has owned the Welterweight division for some time and has run out of opposition, while the physical freak that is Brock Lesnar doesn't look like he's going to be beat for a while either.

Dana White and his team have a task on his hands over the next 12 months or so to keep the top end of these divisions exciting after the sheer dominance of each of these fights. There have been suggestions of Anderson Silva fighting a champion in either the division above or below his current weight class, while hopes of signing Fedor Emelianenko as a challenger to Brock Lesnar look unlikely because of his agent.

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Posted by Barrie on Thursday, 23 July 2009

Update: Michael Bisping v Wanderlei Silva will not headline UFC 105

Update 17/08/09: Michael Bisping today confirmed via the blog on his website that he will not be fighting Wanderlei Silva at UFC 105 due to the Brazilian undergoing facial surgery.

Following from his knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 last month, Michael Bisping will return to the Octagon in November at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England to face Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 105.

Bisping suffered only his 2nd loss of his career at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, first time by knockout, in devastating fashion and needs to bounce back with a victory, in front of his home crowd to seriously be considered for a title shot again. His opponent, Wanderlei Silva, many say is coming to the end of his career, and are backed up by his recent results, losing 3 of his last UFC fights, and 5/6 fights in MMA competition. Silva made his name in PRIDE Fighting Championships from 1999, which included two victories over Rampage Jackson, but hasn't had much luck in the UFC, winning just 2 of his 7 fights. His popularity, due to his exciting fights has helped him stay on the UFC roster, but he really can't afford to lose this one.

No other fights have been announced as of yet, but British Ultimate Fighter winners James Wilks and Ross Pearson are expected to be on the card.

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Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 12 July 2009

Michael Bisping KO'd by Dan Henderson at UFC 100

The British fighter and public's dream of Michael Bisping getting a shot at Anderson Silva's UFC Middleweight title vanished last night (4am this morning GMT) as he took a devastating knock out shot from Dan Henderson in round 2, a shot that will go in the top list of UFC knockouts for year's to come.

The Brit looked nervous before the fight and never got settled; not landing any punishing shots to the 38-year old American he competed with on this year's Ultimate Fighter. The knockout looked like it was coming in round 2 with Henderson coming close on more than one occasion before finally landing the killer blow. He even followed it up with a cheap shot to Bisping, who was out before he hit the mat. Michael had been inexplicably circling onto Hendo's deadly right hand during the second round, against the instructions of his camp and fell right into the devasting shot that earned the American knock out of the night honours and a $100,000 bonus.

Bisping and Henderson's rivally began earlier this year in the UFC's reality TV show and Bisping had been doing a lot of trash-talking before this match that he won't be able to live down (although he was correct when he said he wouldn't let Hendo take him down). Henderson said the cheap shot was to "shut him up" as he came across very unsporting in the post-match interview, although Bisping didn't help his own cause by leaving the ring with no grattitude.

Where does Michael Bisping go now? With Dan Henderson hoping to get a rematch with Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title at the end of this year, Michael Bisping is a long way off a title shot he'll probably never get now. He's got to work his way up the rankings again, and at 30 he still has plenty of time to do so. I imagine his next fight will be when the UFC comes around to the UK again, but he's going to have to pull a brave face every time he's infront of the camera for the next few months following this defeat. Don't be surprised to see him come back stronger though, there's no harm in losing to one of the best in your division and I'm sure Bisping will learn and improve from this. He's still young and has plenty of time to work his way back up the ladder. Perhaps a match with Alan Belcher could be on the cards for his next match, having lost last night also.

Michael Bisping has represented Britain well in the UFC, with his record now down to 7-2, with both defeats to former Champions, which includes victories over American's Josh Haynes in the final of the Ultimate Fighter season 3 (when they laughed at a Brit fighting), Charles McCarthy (who had been trash-talking prior to the match, and suffered a broken arm for his troubles), and Chris Leben by unanimous decision after most of the American public wrote Bisping's chances off beforehand. He'll be back, but not as loud next time...

UFC 100 also saw Georges St Pierre's dominance in a unanimous decision victory after five rounds with "The Pitbull" Thiago Alves, with several takedowns that helped he control the match and defending his Welterweight title. After the fight, when asked about a match with Anderson Silva, he did not say "no", but would need time to get to the right weight level where the two could meet. And Brock Lesnar destroyed Frank Mir in his rematch, winning by TKO in round 2 and rearranging Frank Mir's face in the process. The Heavyweight champion was very cheeky in his post match interview, having the following to say whilst beeing jeered by the sell out crowd:

"Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass, I told him that a year ago. But I pulled that son of a bitch out and I beat him over the head with it!"
"I'm gonna go home tonight. I'm gonna drink a Coors light. It's a Coors light because Bud light don't pay me anything."
"And I'm gonna sit down with my friends and family and hell, I may even get on top of my wife tonight!"

Frank Mir was gratious in defeat after all the trash-talking he gave beforehand and was quick to praise his opponent, who had turned his back on him at the beginning of the fight when asked to "touch gloves", and also taunted the former Heavyweight champion after winning the fight. Brock Lesnar is the real deal and looks set to dominate the UFC Heavyweight division.

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Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 11 July 2009

Chuck Liddell enters UFC Hall of Fame

Yesterday, UFC legend Chuck Liddell was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame by Dana White, the day before UFC 100 is set to rock the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Liddell was a pioneer in the mixed martial arts sport, and paved the way for some of today's stars who are now watched around the world by millions. In the induction video on UFC.com, Dana White introduces Chuck by telling us about how they spent many days on the road together helping to promote the UFC and what a great tribute he has been to the company and sport.

Chuck Liddell was not only great at helping to promote the sport outside of the octagon, but the excitement and entertainment he brought inside the cage is what really helped the sport grow. Classic battles with Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture amongst many others only increased his popularity where he is seen as an icon today, and being a member of the Hall of Fame is the least this guy deserves.

A former Light-Heavyweight champion, Chuck's final few matches in the UFC brought a sad ending to his career, losing 4 of his last 5, with the last a first round knockout to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, it seems Dana White made the decision to retire Chuck Liddell for his own safety and reputation.

Also entered into the Hall of Fame, was Charles "Mask" Lewis, the co-founder of Tapout clothing, who was lost in a car crash in March earlier this year. Dana pays tribute to him on UFC.com.

The UFC Hall of Fame opened in November 2003, for UFC45, where Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock became the first inductees. Since then, Dan Severn, Randy Couture and Mark Coleman have also been introduced.

The historic UFC 100 starts at 3am GMT, and is live on Sky Channel 433 and UFC.com, free for UK viewers, which includes Michael Bisping going against Dan Henderson, plus Brock Lesnar defending his UFC Heavyweight title against Frank Mir in the main event.

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Posted by Barrie on Tuesday, 7 July 2009

UFC To Make It A Century This Weekend

This is my first blog on the UFC, so please go easy on me.

I'm a big fan of the UFC, and went to their last event, number 99 last month in Cologne, Germany. A UFC event is something unique and special, some 5 hour event with a dozen fight is well-worth the ticket price. We saw one of the bloodiest fights in UFC history when Stefan Struve's skull was smashed open by Denis Stojnic in one of the preliminary fights (apologies for the poor photo quality), potentially a future champion in Cain Velasquez, a former Middleweight champion (Rich Franklin) and one of the greatest entertainers to ever step inside the Octagon, Wanderlei Silva, in what was a great night.

Britain's Michael Bisping was also in attendance and was signing autographs at the weigh-ins the day before. This man has put mixed martial arts and UFC on the radar over here in my opinion. He works tirelessly promoting the UFC, and the most recent Ultimate Fighter series helped two more Brits win UFC contracts, when Ross Pearson and James Wilks won the series. Hopefully this coming Saturday night (or Sunday morning!) Michael Bisping will complete the hatrick and defeat Dan Henderson at UFC 100.

Henderson will give him a tough fight, but it's winnable for Bisping. And should he win, then would come the big one, as Bisping would go on to face Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title in November, rumoured to be in Manchester. If it does go ahead in Manchester, regardless of Bisping fight for the title or not, I will sure be heading up there for the weekend!

The UFC has come along way since day 1, back in 1993 and the dark times in the late 90's, before Dana White and co took over at the beginning of this millennium and transitioned it into the $1 billion business that it is today. White still claims it will be the biggest sport within the next decade, and they are well-renowned for calling it the "fastest-growing sport", although in fairness, every other sport is already established, so there isn't much competition in that category. This weekend will see UFC's 100th event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, an historic event to put it lightly. A big card has been announced and UFC fans worldwide are looking forward to this event.

Although, with Setanta's demise, UFC is now without a TV deal in the UK, and despite only being 4 days away from the biggest show in their history have yet to announce which TV channel will be showing it this weekend! Fortunately there are quite a few interested. I can see ESPN getting it, which is the last of the channels I'd like to see it on over here. Sky Sports would be the best in terms of growing the popularity of it over here, whilst Virgin 1 and Bravo have their loyal viewers already from TUF and British MMA shows. Five wouldn't do too badly, having done great NFL coverage in this country. Great as in having Mike Carlson on their show.

Incase you don't already know the main card, I'll stick it in anyway:

Heavyweight Championship bout: (champion) Brock Lesnar vs. (interim champion) Frank Mir
Welterweight Championship bout: (champion) Georges St-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves
Welterweight bout: Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago
Middleweight bout: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
Middleweight bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher

Predictions? Wherever it is shown, enjoy the show!

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