The national anthem of England is titled “God Save the Queen.”
On Saturday night, it was Michael Bisping saving UFC 120 for England as he defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama in the main event, and kept the British fighters on the main card from being swept on their home soil.
It was a rough night for most of the British fighters, but with an undefeated record at home and incredible support from the U.K. crowd, Bisping once again put on one of his best performances while getting his 10th win in the Octagon.
The theme of the night for Bisping was control in his stand-up game and putting together crisp combinations. It seemed whenever the two fighters came close enough to engage, as Akiyama threw all of his force into one punch, Bisping answered back with a quick two or three punch combination.
There were a couple of occasions where Akiyama did land his single shot and Bisping looked somewhat rattled, but the British fighter kept his composure and never let the fight get away from him. Multiple times in the fight, Bisping unloaded a straight right hand that continuously found Akiyama’s jaw.
A brief scare happened in the third round when an errant kick blasted Akiyama in the groin, but after a stoppage and time to recover the Japanese fighter got back up and the fight continued. Try as he may to land the knockout shot, Akiyama simply couldn’t keep up with Bisping’s pace, and the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner put together another winning game plan.
“Akiyama’s a great fighter, I expected a tough challenge,” Bisping said after the scorecards read 30-27 in his favor from all the judges. “I truly believe in my training and my skills and my ability to win this fight.”
“I’m working hard, no one works harder than me. Hopefully I’ll get the gold soon.”
Bisping gets his second win in a row, and proves once again that he’s nearly impossible to defeat in his home country. The loss puts Akiyama at 1-2 in the UFC, with his lone win coming by way of somewhat controversial decision over Alan Belcher in his debut. Depending on many factors of course, Akiyama could have seen his last action in the UFC following the loss to Bisping on Saturday night.