There was a lot of trash talk leading up to Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher’s fight at UFC 159 on Saturday night in New Jersey. Come fight time, however, all the talk was tucked away and out came the leather.
There couldn’t have been a more stark contrast to each man’s approach to the fight.
Belcher immediately looked to establish his power punches, while Bisping utilized superior movement, hand speed, and technique.
Bisping established control of the fight straight away with punches in bunches, and then slipping out of the way whenever Belcher would attempt to take his head off.
And Bisping only stepped up the strategy as the fight wore on and Belcher wore down. Every time Belcher would swing for the fences, it left him open for Bisping’s speedy counters, and “the Count” took advantage every time.
By the third round, Belcher was exhausted, frequently dropping his hands down to his sides.
Despite Bisping’s control of the fight, the victory came in a less-than-satisfying manner when an errant eye poke to his surgically repaired right eye left Belcher unable to continue.
The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, a technical decision due to the injury stoppage in the final round.
“My apologies to Alan,” said Bisping after the fight, despite all the trash talk in the lead-up. “He’s a hell of a competitor and thanks for being a worthy opponent. I hit him with some power shots and he took them well.”
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