Sunday, 4 December 2011

Bisping Makes Mayhem Look Quiet at TUF Finale


Michael “The Count” Bisping picked apart Jason “Mayhem” Miller as if Mayhem was an amatuer. By round 2, the significance in Bisping’s striking and gulf in class were made known to everyone watching and especially to Mayhem.

For the first time since The Ultimate Fighter 5, the coaches dulled at the finale. The season itself had some of, if not, the greatest TUF fights we have seen. TUF 14 featured the newly introduced featherweights and bantamweights as they fight their way into the TUF house and cause fireworks, just like their coaches.
Bisping and Mayhem are very different fighters but when I heard they were going to coach The Ultimate Fighter I was anticipating the greatest TUF season yet - and it’s definitely ranked up there with the best.

The two middleweight coaches argued, threw water, pushed each other and certainly wanted to rip each other apart. It reminded me of Shamrock/Ortiz and Rampage/Evans, where there was a genuine passion to knock the other out. Now, to the fights…

The bantamweight final featured T.J. Dillashaw of Team Bisping take on Jon Dodson of Team Mayhem. The start of the fight, well, I don’t remember as Dodson had stopped Dillashaw in just under two minutes. Some questioned the stoppage of veteran ref Herb Dean, but it was a good one. Dodson dropped Dillashaw and landed a few punches before Dean stepped in. Dillashaw protested slightly after the fight but it was clear he was extremely wobbly when back to his feet.
On the show, Dodson beat fellow team-mate Johnny Bedford in the semi-finals. Bedford fought in the first fight on the main card and completely destroyed Louis Gaudinot and after, Bedford called out Dodson for a rematch. Will it happen? We shall see.

Co-main event time and it was the featherweight final as Team Bisping’s Diego Brandao faced Team Mayhem’s Dennis Bermudez. Going back to the show, Diego had knocked every man out that he fought. Dennis had either knocked out or submitted every man he fought. As if the fight couldn’t get any more exciting, it did. It’s very possible that round 1 could have been round of the year. It didn’t leave round 1, either.
Both men came out showcasing their striking ability, both men also got rocked and dropped. Bermudez looked to be finishing off Brandao then out of nowhere, Brandao showed everyone his ground game, quick as a flash, locked on an armbar. Bermudez was tapping before the hold was even secured properly, leaving many to believe he may have a broken arm. The final fights really summed up a great season.

Time for the coaches to do battle in the main event. Needless to say, I had been amped for this fight since the announcement.
Mayhem Miller has not fought in the UFC since 2005, when he lost a decision victory to a young Georges St. Pierre. Now he was back, TUF coach and all, ready to face England’s Michael Bisping.
Bisping was coming into the fight on a three fight win streak and was looking to make it four. And he did. Round 1 saw Mayhem take down Bisping and the round was fairly dormant. However, by round 2 Bisping had stepped up his game and utilised his superior striking and takedown defence, leaving Mayhem with a bloody nose and black eye. It was all over in round 3 as Mayhem’s cardio had just not turned up. He looked very tired after the first round and by the third, he was exhausted. This left Bisping to drive knees and punches into a turtled up Mayhem.

They shook hands after and gave each other their props, both men admitting they were tired. Bisping’s reason for the tiredness was using his energy to stop Mayhem, but was not happy with it, saying round 1 didn’t go to plan.

“If I face the champion [Anderson Silva], that simply won’t cut it.” - said Bisping.

Overall, an excellent night for debuts and an excellent night for Bisping’s future.

Results:

Johnny Bedford def. Louis Gaudinot via TKO (knees) in round 3.
Tony Ferguson def. Yves Edwards via unanimous decision.
John Dodson def. T.J. Dillashaw via TKO (punches) in round 1.
Diego Brandao def. Dennis Bermudez via submission (armbar) in round 1.
Michael Bisping def. Jason Miller via TKO (strikes) in round 3.

Fight of the Night: Brandao vs. Bermudez
Knockout of the Night: John Dodson
Submission of the Night: Diego Brandao

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