Following a brutal, nearly unbearable two day stretch without a UFC event to lift us above the suffocating mediocrity of our everyday lives, the world’s premiere MMA organization returned on Saturday morning for Fight Night 72: Bisping vs. Leites. And what an event it was, jam-packed with ferocious knockouts on the undercard and the opposite of that on the main card. Booyah, Glasgow!
In the main event of the evening, Michael Bisping did his Michael Bisping thing, stickin-n-movin his way to a split decision win over a game Thales Leites. While the fight wasn’t exactly the most memorable thing (especially given every card that’s led up to it in these past couple weeks), it did showcase the continuously evolving arsenal of Leites even in defeat, especially in the striking department. First Werdum, now Leites, it’s like Brazil is finally starting to catch up to the sport they invented. (commence Internet outrage….now!!)
Elsewhere, the Fight Night 72 card featured a one-sided grappling clinic between journeyman lightweights and a women’s strawweight battle for the ages, so check out all the highlights and results from Saturday’s card after the jump.
(Still a cleaner strike than anything thrown in this fight.)
Former UFC fighter Santino DeFranco is back with Fight University! In this exclusive preview, DeFranco gives us a breakdown this Saturday’s Fight Night 72 main event matchup between Michael Bisping and Thales Leites. The keys to victory for the Brit? Closing the distance, mixing up his combinations, and staying off the cage. For the Brazilian? Knees, more knees, and the occasional double leg.
Check out DeFranco’sbreakdown after the jump, then let us know what else you’d like to see future installments of Fight University!
(We’re really, really, *really* missing that Xbox sponsorship right now. via Getty.)
By Sam Stilson
Aside from escaping a fire, it’s never a good thing when the audience starts leaving halfway through the main event of a card. It’s an even worse thing when you’ve already had to close off half the arena just to fill the building. No, UFC 186 was not a successful PPV for the world’s premier MMA organization, but despite its many, many failings, it wasn’t a half-bad display of mixed martial arts…for Bellator, or WSOF, of even a Fight Pass show.
Still the fights went on, winners were crowned and with this trainwreck behind us, we must now wonder where do they go from here?
Not that you care right now, what with Jon Jones’ hit-and-run currently capturing your attention, but there was a UFC event over the weekend that on paper looked pretty crappy but in reality turned out to be pretty fun affair (and not just because I went 10-2 on my fight picks for the second time in the past three events).
UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi, it was called, and true to form, it was a card absolutely ravaged by injuries. Dillashaw, Barao, Rory Mac, Lombard, Trujillo — all were expected to fight on Saturday, but the MMA Gods had other plans. Instead, we were treated to the (underwhelming) return of Rampage Jackson thanks to a last-minute appeal of the injunction that originally forced him off the card, the arrival of Thomas Almeida, and the continued dominance of Mighty Mouse.
In the main event of the evening, Demetrious Johnson had his way with #7 ranked (and +1000 underdog) Kyoji Horiguchi for five straight rounds. It was very much a typical Johnson performance in many regards, in that it was damn near flawless, capped off by a late submission (the latest ever, actually), and all but ignored by the fans in the Belle Center. Little guys just don’t get no respect, nawmsayin?
Check out the highlights from the entire UFC 186 main card and a full list of results after the jump.
On Jan. 17, 2005, Spike TV aired a new show titled The Ultimate Fighter, which featured 16 combat sports athletes living under one roof in Las Vegas, competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC. What we didn’t know, however, was this exhaustive program was going to last over 20 seasons, complete with the FOX treatment, and plenty of drunken debauchery in between.
Long story short, the Zuffa brass was in serious trouble since their big gamble to buy the struggling Ultimate Fighting Championship wasn’t paying off. Simply put, that Fertitta money was being blown fast, with no real profit or indication of improvement. Spike TV founder Albie Hecht wanted a program that brought in a lot of viewers from all over, presumably because there are only so many reruns of the hyper masculine shows a person could watch.
For those of you poor souls without Fight Pass, our tireless liveblogger Bear Siragusa will be sticking live results and commentary after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest updates, and leave us your thoughts in the comments section or on twitter @cagepotatomma.
So apparently, UFC middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold are not the biggest fans of each other. Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Turns out they have something of a long-running feud dating back to when Bisping broke gym code and declared himself the “unofficial Strikeforce champion” following a sparring session with Rockhold. And now the two will ehhhh…fight this weekend at Fight Night 55 in Sydney, Australia. You know what seems odd to me about all this? That Vitor Belfort hasn’t declared himself the “unofficial Strikeforce G.O.A.T” yet!
At the pre-fight press conference in Sydney yesterday afternoon, Bisping and Rockhold continued to trade barbs — Rockhold mocked the fresh cut above Bisping’s eye he recently suffered in training, while the Brit calmly reminded Rockhold that he had “no f*cking idea” what he was getting himself into. Even Chris Weidman, who was in attendance with his trusty sidekick Ray Longo, got in on the action when asked how he thought the fight would play out. Check out some highlights from the conference above, then make sure to catch the weigh-ins tonight starting at 9 p.m. EST.
If you haven’t been regularly watching Robin Black’s excellent breakdowns over at The Fight Network, you’ve surely been missing out on some of the most technical fight previews and recaps this side of Jack Slack. A former mixed martial artist himself, Black’s passion for the inner workings of the sport is evident in each and every one of his “5 Rounds” breakdowns, which have become so popular that the UFC recently granted him access to their Fight Pass archives to more thoroughly preview upcoming fights.
Luckily for the Brit, Black is here to point out everything Bisping will need to do against Rockhold to earn his second straight win for the first time in 3 years. Check out his full breakdown above and make sure to follow Black over at The Fight Network’s Youtube page.