"The Count" remains undefeated in his home country by picking up his eighteenth career victory in London, England, at UFC Fight Night 84 earlier tonight (Sat., Feb. 27, 2016) inside The O2 Arena.
Michael Bisping (28-7) defeated Anderson Silva (33-7-1NC) by unanimous decision in a five-round bloody war, where he left everything he had inside the Octagon in front of his hometown fans. All three judges scored the bout 48-47 for Bisping.
Bisping dropped "The Spider" in the second round, got dropped himself by a flying knee in a crazy exchange in the third round and fought on the last two rounds with his face bloody and badly busted up.
"I wanted this fight my entire life," Bisping told Dan Hardy after the fight. "Because of you guys you gave me the power. I'm just a guy from a very normal background and you've been in my corner the entire time.
Bisping threw a high kick to start the bout, but Silva easily avoided it. The two circled for the majority of the opening minutes, feeling out each other's range. Silva landed a low kick and continued to move around on the outside. Bisping landed a pair of punches. Silva waved Bisping forward and threw a big punch that missed the mark. "The Count" backed Silva up against the fence but couldn't capitalize. Bisping connected with a solid right/left combination that wobbled Silva, and the former UFC middleweight champion returned fire.
In the second, Bisping backed up the 40-year-old Silva against the fence once again. From there Silva began his taunting tactics by standing with his hands down inviting Bisping to attack. Bisping reset and moved to center of the Octagon. Silva didn't land a lot, but he landed a few solid punches while carrying on his hand-waving histrionics. Toward the end of the round, Silva badly missed a right hand, and Bisping made him pay by hitting a clean left hook that wobbled Silva, and then landed a left hook, right hand combination to put Silva on his rear end. Bisping swarmed in to finish, but Silva regained composure and survived the 36-year-old Brit's onslaught.
Bisping came forward to start the third, but didn't land. Silva missed badly on the same right hand that got him in trouble in the second round. Silva went upstairs with a big head kick, but Silva blocked it. With two minutes left Siva began to move toward Bisping and continued his hand waving. Bisping landed a nice jab, but Silva continued to move forward and pick up the pace. Silva began to land big shots and Bisping lost his mouth piece. As he was in trouble, Silva kept coming forward. Silva missed a knee from the clinch. Bisping said something to referee Herb Dean about his mouth piece and Silva landed a jumping knee on the button, which floored Bisping as the horn sounded to end the round.
Silva began celebrating like he won the fight, and it was a bit of a confusing scene before the fourth round started.
In the fourth round Bisping -- now with a bloody face -- came forward with some big punches and took a hit in the groin from Silva. Dean halted the action for Bisping to recover. Bisping came forward again, forcing Silva against the fence and landed several big punches. Silva landed a right hand, but Bisping kept coming forward and landing on the No.5-ranked UFC Middleweight. Dean stopped the fight again after Bisping poked Silva in the eye. When the action resumed, Bisping came forward again and landed more punches, while Silva remained content with his back up against the fence. Silva landed a right hook and a left straight and he moved forward on Bisping. Silva then landed a big left hand that hurt Bisping right before the end of the round.
Bisping's face was badly busted up to start the final round. Silva went up top with another head kick, but Bisping was able to block it. Silva went up high again and that one was blocked by Bisping. Dean halted the bout to have the doctor check Bisping's cut. Silva landed a big front kick to Bisping's face, which hurt him and he came forward aggressively. Silva landed a knee, but could not put Bisping away. Bisping entire face was now crimson with blood, but he kept coming. Bisping went in on a takedown, but Silva easily defended it. Bisping continued to come forward, but Silva would get the better of the exchanges for the remainder of the round.
Many will question the decision going in favor of Bisping, but it's undeniably the biggest win of his career. He was ranked No.7 in the middleweight division heading into this bout and will assuredly jump up in the rankings with the victory. With the win, Bisping improves to 17-7 in UFC.
Tough loss for Silva, who returned to the Octagon for the first time since UFC 183 and after a suspension for performance enhancing drugs. The loss is only the third of Silva's UFC career. He is now 16-3-1NC in UFC competition.
For complete UFC Fight Night 84 "Silva vs. Bisping" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.