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The Morning After: UFC London

Matthew Wells

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In those first groggy moments when you’re not quite sure if you’ve checked back into reality and your body is auto-running a full systems check before your first major movement from your location of slumber, you begin to realize morning has arrived. You start to replay the occurrences of the previous night, hoping to recall everything that occurred before your body ultimately decided to shut down all conscious functions for the evening. With your mind and body now in sync, there’s only one question to be answered before proceeding with the day ahead. What did I learn from last night?

While this may sound like a process that occurs after a night filled with alcohol and bad decisions during a weekend in college, this has nothing to do with a frat party. These are slightly-more-clear-headed thoughts recorded after the event that was UFC London. Welcome to The Morning After.

The lasting image of the night before was the main event of UFC Fight Night London which featured two iconic figures in mixed martial arts. Yes, Michael Bisping is indeed an icon in this sport. Not for a spectacular skill set or a career that transcended the sport, but he achieves this status for being the first to carry the torch for his home country and his ability to display a true fighting spirit every time he competes. When you face Bisping, you know you’re in for a grind (and he’s going to verbally destroy you before stepping into the cage too). Anderson Silva is an icon for completely different reasons. He’s the guy with the insane skillset who changed the game with his abilities. He’s the guy who people try to emulate in training the next day after his highlight knockouts. He’s the guy who still holds the record for the longest title run in his division’s history. When you face The Spider, you expect to be taunted, and you try to not end up on a highlight reel.

Did Michael Bisping win the fight or did Anderson Silva give the fight away?

This question is answered somewhere after the chaos that was the closing moments of the third round. While trying to point out to referee Herb Dean that his mouth piece had fallen out, Michael Bisping took his eyes off his opponent. Dean says, “Keep going, fight!” just before Anderson launches himself forward with a flying knee that would send Bisping to the canvas. Anderson Silva has always been the walk-off guy. If he lands a solid, clean strike to make you drop, he’s going to watch you fall.

Insert mass confusion here.

As Bisping hits the canvas, the horn sounds signifying the end of the round. As Anderson walks away, Herb Dean begins talking to Bisping. It’s understandable why Anderson thought the fight was over at this point, thus, he began celebrating. “I didn’t stop the fight,” Dean said to Bisping. “The fight’s not over,” Dean continued to explain to Bisping who was on the canvas with his back against the cage, yet actively talking to Dean. Herb would repeat the same message to Silva and his corner. As Bisping’s corner was tending to their fighter, Silva’s corner was trying to stop the celebration and explain he had to fight on into the fourth round.

About one minute and twenty seconds pass before Herb Dean signals to the timekeeper and asks Bisping if he’s good to fight before starting the round. This one minute and twenty seconds of time make the fight. Bisping spent 100% of that time recovering. To no fault of anyone other than his own, Anderson only received 12 seconds of attention from his corner, while the rest was spent celebrating, causing an adrenaline dump from thinking the fight was over. Dan Hardy spoke on the idea of the adrenaline dump during the post-fight show. While we can’t know for certain if this was the case, it’s an intriguing point. In the fourth round, a round in which you would expect Silva to come out and try to quickly end the fight, was Anderson trying to get back in the groove from a dump of adrenaline?

Regardless, after re-watching the fourth round with no outside influences from commentating or Twitter, Bisping certainly deserved the 10 on the scorecards. It’s a testament to the will of Michael Bisping to recover from the flying knee at the end of the third and then do enough to win the following round. This is something that should be commended and celebrated.

Opportunities were seemingly present in the fifth round for Silva to end the fight. The ending never happened due to his own lack of aggression, the toughness of Bisping, or perhaps something that lies somewhere in between. For fans of Anderson Silva, the frustration of knowing he can end the fight and then not doing so reared its ugly head once again. If Anderson wants to prove that he his still the most elusive fighter, employing his Wing Chun techniques, (which are incredibly impressive but won’t end many fights alone), then fans have to accept that Anderson seems to enjoy spending a lot of time in the cage testing his defensive abilities rather than ending fights.

The final takeaway from last night’s event was something that became an afterthought as we became locked in on the main event: This fight took place on UFC Fight Pass. How amazing was that? Aside from the #FightPassRemix that took place during the Tom Breese fight, having this card stream online was an incredible idea and should only get you excited about future fights that will take place live on the platform versus Pay Per View. The most viewed fight and fight card in Fight Pass history certainly delivered on all levels.

Congratulations to Michael Bisping for fighting the fight of his life and earning the win he’s wanted on his record for such a long time. Well earned and certainly well deserved.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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