UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping – Winners and Losers

The UFC wanted to put on a major UFC bout on Fight Pass, and we got everything that makes this sport great and strange,…

By: Victor Rodriguez | 7 years ago
UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping – Winners and Losers
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The 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.


Michael Bisping – For parts of that fight, he just looked outright sensational. He took the fight to one of the best fighters (if not the best) of all time, and put on what was arguably his best performance ever. He was relentless in his approach, used sharp head movement and leg kicks, oblique kicks, and crisp combinations to keep the fight at his optimal range for most of the fight. Even when the bout turned into a dogfight, he remained composed and tagged Silva with some great shots. He had claimed that this was the easiest weight cut for him, and his emphasis on working with boxing coach Jason Parillo paid off wonderfully. Now, we do have to address his tendency to have a crazy misstep at some point in almost all of his fights, and asking for a timeout in the middle of the fight because his mouthguard was out may have seemed like a good idea in the heat of the moment, but to do so that close to your opponent leads to… well, you kind of saw that, didn’t you? Had they both been at a certain distance and the ref could have acknowledged the mouthpiece situation without breaking up any action, things would have been different. Either way, Bisping fought valiantly through that and the cuts on his face, and said that this was his unofficial title fight.

He’s going to retire some day, and hopefully this fight will be the one thing we remember him by the most, as a show of what he was capable of at his very best. His praise after the fight for Anderson was also worthy of respect, and his emotional and tearful thanks for his team and his family was just another show of the real guy – Good Guy Mike – coming through. Some will say that the only way he could beat a fighter like Anderson was to fight a diminished version that’s nearing the end of his career, but the man fought hard for his storybook ending. Big ups to him for working to make his dream come true.

Gegard Mousasi needed to bounce back big after that devastating upset loss to Uriah Hall, and he did so by taking on the very resilient grappler, Thales Leites. as inconsistent as he has been in the UFC, we can’t really consider this a definitive statement on what his near future can look like in the organization, but his potential is still there. It got uglier by the end, but he stays safely in the top 10.

Scott Askham is is crazy fun to watch. From frenetic scrambles to crafty submission attempts off his back to the spectacular headkick finish of Chris Dempsey, this is the kind of fight you want to bounce back from a loss. Looking forward to seeing him again very soon.

Brad Pickett had a fantastic back and forth with Francisco Rivera in a fight I’m glad I was wrong about. Pickett and Rivera used all aspects of MMA in a wild bout that showed a lot of heart and both guys, and both of them stay in the winner’s column here.

Arnold Allen made a tremendous statement at the very end of a fight that was becoming less and less exciting as it went on. This kid’s going places. and his time at Tristar is only going to make him better with each outing.

Makwan Amirkhani showed he has the composure to withstand a full three round fight after having two quick and exciting finishes. His wrestling control is pretty great, and his ability to advance to a more advantageous position to deliver elbows and punches is far better than i thought. He continues to impress and he’s got a future in the sport if he keeps it up like this.

Tom Breese struggled with the grappling of Keita Nakamura, but ended up winning a fight against an established veteran in the end. Davey Grant showed a ton of grit and had a fight that may have been tougher than he expected, never really seemed to be in any real danger because of his defense despite facing an opponent that was doing very well on the ground for a bit. Rustam Khabilov looked pretty good against a guy that makes his opponents look bad, and snaps a two-fight losing streak. Teemu Packalen slapped a big exclamation point on the prelims, as did David Teymur with a fantastic TKO finish.


Anderson Silva – This one is difficult, because it really felt for a bit that part of the Anderson of old was finally back after shaking off the cobwebs. The jovial guy that enjoyed himself during fight week, the man who walked out to the cage and went through the familiar mannerisms and even started the fight off showing some of the older wrinkles was nice to see, but he was clearly diminished. It’s sad to say this, because all things considered he really has lost more than one step, and this isn’t the Anderson Silva that would have lost to today’s Michael Bisping 3-4 years ago. Nor is this the Anderson Silva that could be competitive with a Luke Rockhold at this stage. He still pulled out some of the classic Silva staples we love, like the front kick that ruined Belfort and the back elbow uppercut that slept Fryklund, and even a Jon Jones-esque spinning elbow way late in the fight. His leg kicks and body kicks were beautiful, and he punished Bisping’s body repeatedly with knees throughout the fight, as well as nice hand traps that led to some decent counters here and there.

As for the controversial knee, you fight until the ref says not to, so we can’t fault him that much for capitalizing on that sniper-level Tiger Knee. What was problematic was his acting like the fight was over, and while I can’t vouch for how good his English is after living in the U.S. for years now, I’m fairly certain he can understand “the fight is not over” when Herb Dean says it. Climbing the cage fence and refusing to come down was even stranger still, and totally takes another bit of luster off of his once almost-sterling image from years ago. He’s not done, and can be very successful against some fighters, but he’s clearly not where he perhaps thought he was.

Herb Dean – Sorry, Herb. Even the man that’s arguably the best ref in the business makes mistakes, and to be fair, that was a strange moment to be caught in during Bisping/Silva. Silva nailed Bisping with a knee that had him out cold for a good second at the bell, and while Bisping deserves a ton of praise for not only struggling through that and finishing the five round fight and still looking great after that, the case could be made that the fight could have and should have been stopped right then and there.

Fight Pass – Much like the inaugural Singapore event, a lot of interest of an online event is sure to cause all sorts of service disruption. Much like holiday shopping online, you’re going to have problems and for a card as big and as surprisingly consequential as this one, it’s a shame that so many users had such an unpleasant experience attempting to watch the event. Some commenters were even upset that people watching the event illegally were able to have a better viewing experience. I’ve personally been a fan of the service and a very vocal cheerleader for it, and things certainly could have been worse, but the infrastructure for Fight Pass does need some beefing up, and that update/revamp that was promised by Fight Pass head honcho Eric Winter can’t come soon enough. The search function is a bit of a mess and even watching today’s event after the fact was a clumsy experience.

Marlon Vera – OK, what took so long for referee Marc Goddard to finally ask for a translator? Vera couldn’t keep his fingers out of Davey Grant’s glove, and despite his slick transitions on the ground with some submission attempts, couldn’t get much going in this fight. Not to accuse Vera of anything here, but the deal with the gloves as well as the blatant fence grabs made his performance look even worse. He has to know that these things are illegal. Worst of all, he seemed to think he had a chance to win while waiting for the judges’ call. That’s a big bag of nope.

Daniel Omielanczuk may have won the fight against Jarjis Danho, but for all the Bellator heavyweight jokes we see in the comments section, this was not a good representation of highlevel MMA. That simply was not a fight that did anyone any favors, and the gods of combat did us a solid by having the fight end the way it did to spare us any more. They both end up in the losing column for gassing out that quick and not even looking like professional athletes in the way they were performing. It should be noted that London is not Mexico City or Denver, so any sea-level jokes can die right now.

Chris Dempsey drops to 1-3 in his UFC run, and is likely to get his walking papers as a result. Likewise, Bradley Scott also drops to 2-3 and could very likely get cut as well. Martin Svensson had a rough go of it in his UFC debut with a quick loss, and so did Thibault Gouti. Neither loss is devastating, but short finishes can count against you pretty heavily in the UFC. And while Yaotzin Mesa technically lost a decision, he got slept in the closing second of that fight in a bad way.


Norman Parke lost a tough fight that was close, so no shame there. Keita Nakamura should probably get another shot with his smooth grappling and veteran savvy, and Mike Wilkinson is a tough and scrappy guy that won’t lose much shine from this loss.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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