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UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites post-fight results and analysis

Mookie Alexander recaps and analyzes all the action from UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites in Glasgow, Scotland.

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UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Leites is done and dusted, and I thought it was a really good show. This was the Octagon's first trip to Scotland and it was a roaring success for the UK + Irish favorites. Scottish talents went 3-0 on the card, and England's Michael Bisping returned to the UK and got a split decision win over a very tough Thales Leites in the main event.

I absolutely love the atmosphere of these European events, and not only did Scotland's fans represent themselves extremely well, there was a strong Irish and English contingent, as well. Ideally, this is going to be the norm for future shows in Ireland, Scotland, or England. From the opening prelim to the main event, every fight felt like it had a bigger magnitude of important than it realistically did. Sign me up for more of these type of shows, especially with the rise of some of the regional and continental talents that have emerged over the past few years.

More thoughts on the UFC's last show for an ENTIRE WEEK. I don't know if I'll be able to cope with this withdrawal.

  • I thought Bisping won rounds 1, 4, and 5 over Leites. His volume, footwork, and sharp punching were enough to get him by Leites at critical points. He's still a top 10 guy who will give loads of fighters very tough battles. However, I think it's pretty clear, to go with his numerous losses to the elite middleweights, that he won't be able to beat any of the elite middleweights. After Gegard Mousasi starches Roan Carneiro, that's probably the best type of matchmaking for Bisping going forward. Giving him Yoel Romero would be sanctioning manslaughter.
  • Some perspective on Leites' loss. Six years ago he was flat out not engaging with Anderson Silva and then got cut from the UFC after a boring and controversial loss to Alessio Sakara. He got choked out by Matt Horwich post-UFC before getting revenge on him. Leites is in the UFC now and almost got a big win in enemy territory against someone who was billed as having the striking advantage. That's a pretty damn impressive career turnaround even though he came up short this afternoon.
  • Leites walked out to Bob Marley and had the crowd singing along. That's genius no matter how you cut it.
  • Has to be said, Fox Sports 1's pacing is consistently and utterly terrible. This isn't as much of a personal annoyance to me when it happens in the afternoon as opposed to 1 AM ET, but they had to nix the post-fight interview with Bisping because they ran over the main card timeslot by 20 minutes and Major League Baseball was on. They ran about 174 promos for UFC 190 and UFC on FOX 16. Oh well, at least upcoming events out of Europe and Asia will be on Fight Pass, where pacing is never a problem.
  • Brian Stann is the UFC's best color commentator/analyst/pundit around. It's been two years and I'm pretty comfortable with that remark. He's insightful, intelligent, and incredibly well-prepared, and I imagine he's the same way when he's calling college football.
  • Evan Dunham's win over Ross Pearson may not have been the prettiest to watch, but it was one of his finest and smartest performances in his UFC career. He didn't really have an overwhelming advantage standing coming into the fight, but he made fantastic usage of his size, wrestling, pressure, and grappling to really trouble Pearson.
  • How the HELL did Pearson survive that armbar attempt in the opening round? Arms don't bend that way unless you're Gumby.
  • Joseph Duffy, whose running tagline for now is "submitted Conor McGregor", is a serious talent to watch at 155, and 155 is loaded with talented fighters. He ran through Ivan Jorge every which way imaginable and did a great job of turning takedown defense into a triangle choke within seconds. No reason to rush him just yet, but I imagine his next fight will be on that October card in Dublin, where he'll no doubt get another chance to keep on impressing the masses.
  • Joanne Calderwood was in dire straits early against Cortney Casey, and it really looked like she was going to lose in the 1st round to a relative unknown for the 2nd time in as many fights, but the Scotswoman did a fantastic job of utilizing her strengths and really battering Casey in the later rounds to get the much-needed victory. She's clearly been through a lot on a personal level over the past several months, and it may be affecting her in-cage performances for the worse. On the other side, Casey made a good account for herself in a losing effort, and I look forward to her next fight.
  • I talked earlier about the insane survival skills of Ross Pearson in defending Dunham's armbar, but how about Pawel Pawlak surviving that head kick thrown by Leon Edwards? AND he got punched flush on the head right after that. Sure he lost a pretty clear decision in a largely disappointing fight, but you have to give respect to Pawlak's punch resistance.
  • Stevie Ray packs a punch. The sequence he had to finish off Leonardo Mafra Teixeira was of high quality, and he did a really good job of not getting clipped by any hard shots that Mafra was throwing out of desperation when he was hurt.
  • Vaughan Lee looked like he'd been in the wilderness for the past year eating nothing but twigs and berries while sleeping on a bed of leaves. Evidently that wasn't enough for him to get past Patrick Holohan, whose grappling and scrambling was too much for the aging Lee to handle. Flyweight isn't the division to be old and not fast or athletic to compete against even fringe contenders.
  • Ilir Latifi starched Hans Stringer in absurdly violent fashion. You can tell that Hans Stringer trains with Stefan Struve by the way he got annihilated by a guy who could punch him really hard in the face.
  • Mickael Lebout's French translator is probably the worst in UFC history. He started off by asking Brian Stann if he was supposed to translate from English to French, which ... yeah, that's your job, dude. And his actual translations from French to English? Yikes.
  • Early on in the fight I wrote on Twitter that Paul Redmond was itching to get KO'd by a counterpunch, and Robert Whiteford pretty much did exactly that. The celebration in the stands with his fans was a great moment for the Scotsman.
  • On the Fight Pass prelims, it was a tale of two short-notice replacements on opposite ends of knockout results. Chris De La Rocha was De La Rocked early and often by Daniel Omielanczuk, who finished the heavyweight off with a big De La Right hand. Jimmie Rivera became the third different UFC newcomer to knockout Marcus Brimage, joining Cody Garbrandt and Conor McGregor. Really impressive stuff from Rivera, who was a decision machine for the longest while but is now racking up the stoppages.