After years of chasing that elusive fight with Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping finally got his shot at "The Spider", albeit in a non-title fight at UFC Fight Night 84 in London. A raucous crowd cheered on Bisping at the O2 Arena, as "The Count" was seeking the biggest win of his career and a potential title shot, while Anderson was looking to get back in the win column after (thanks to the Nick Diaz no-contest) a 3.5 year drought.
Silva evaded a Bisping high kick in the first 20 seconds. It was otherwise a feeling out process for the opening minute. Michael connected on a right pushing forward. Silva threw a leg kick. Another slow head kick missed by Bisping. Anderson just missed with a left hand and sure enough he upped his output and threw and landed a pair of kicks -- one to the body and one to the lead leg. In the final minute, as Silva egged Bisping to come and hit him, Silva clipped Michael with a glancing blow to the temple. A wild flurry at the end ended with Silva looking a bit staggered by a punch. Bisping was also tagged but Silva was caught more off-balance.
Anderson clowned around to start the 2nd, inviting Bisping to hit him against the fence. Michael didn't take the bait. Silva counter-punched with a right over the top with Bisping coming forward. Big right hand by Anderson backed Bisping up. Another one soon followed but Bisping took it well. Silva continued to play mind games and clown around and taunt Bisping with wacky movement. Anderson scored with a quick jab. Bisping with a short leg kick to the outside. Anderson cracked Bisping with a winging left. Good leg kick and a jab by Bisping in the final minute. Left hook, right hand, and another left hook felled Silva and then Bisping went for the kill. Hard ground-and-pound but Silva held on to the end of the round.
Video highlights for Bisping's win over Silva
Check out the highlights from the UFC London main event between Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva.
The cobwebs appeared to be cleared from Silva in the 3rd. Anderson caught a kick and then answered with a head kick that Bisping partially absorbed. There wasn't much to separate the two, although Silva was becoming the aggressor. Short right hand by Anderson before the final minute of the 3rd. Bisping with solid jabs. A head kick caught the attention of Bisping. A knee to the body by Anderson. Bisping cracked Silva with a right. Bisping and Silva started going at it in a crazy exchange but Bisping lost his mouthpiece. Herb Dean picked it up and they continued fighting. Silva attacked hard and rocked Bisping as Michael expected the fight to be stopped to put his mouthpiece back in. Anderson threw a Muay Thai knee and then drilled Bisping with a gigantic flying knee as the horn sounded. Herb Dean did not stop the fight even though Bisping look KO'd. Mass confusion ensued as Silva thought he'd won but that wasn't the case.
Silva started the 4th with a leg kick. Bisping missed with a high kick. Michael went on the attack but was hit in the groin with a foot to the cup. Bisping went back to pressuring Silva and landing shots. Anderson was content to stay against the fence and let Bisping walk him down. Stiff jab by Anderson but Bisping answered back with two shots. Bisping with a combination. Quality body kick by Silva in the center of the Octagon. Bisping poked Silva in the eye. Action resumed and Bisping forced Silva back against the cage and landing punches. Silva pushed forward with two punch combination. Short left elbow by Anderson and a combination by Silva. Superman punch by Anderson to end the round.
Big head kick partially blocked by Bisping to start the 5th. Another head kick rattled Silva. And a push kick to the body thrown by Silva. Herb Dean called time as blood was pouring out of Bisping's face. The fight resumed with 3:30 left. Silva showed a clear sense of urgency. Bisping was rocked hard with a front kick. Big knee by Silva who stalked Bisping and rocked him again. Bisping was hanging on for dear life. Two minutes left and Bisping remained upright but only barely, throwing leg kicks but clearly losing the round. Bisping went for a takedown but Silva denied him and threw a knee to the body on the break. Popping jab by Anderson. Silva missed with a front kick and a jab but charged with a straight left. Just missed with a spinning elbow. Final seconds ticked away with Silva landing one last shot to end a wild fight.
Official result: Michael Bisping def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (48-47 x3)