UFC 159: Bisping vs. Belcher Round-by-Round Recap and Analysis

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

UFC 159: Bisping vs. Belcher Round-by-Round Recap and Analysis

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    One of the most hastily created grudge matches in MMA history is finally coming to a head in Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher at UFC 159 on Saturday.

    Two top middleweights in desperate need of wins after emphatic losses (to Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, respectively). Two solid strikers that are strong strikers, which could easily give us a fight of the night performance.

    So check here for our live, round-by-round analysis of this critical fight between 185 pound veterans.

Round 1

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    After some confusion over Alan Belcher's ankle wraps, the fight begins with both fighters pawing. Belcher shows some willingness to kick, but doesn't land any particularly hard.

    The minutes wear on and neither fighter shows much willingness to engage. After three minutes, Bisping starts to open up with his hands, but Belcher ends up landing a solid right. Bisping has maintained the center of the cage for the most part, but has not been able to land almost anything on Belcher.

    The fight is paused due to an eye poke, but quickly started with just under a minute left. As the horn sounds, Bisping lands the first decent hit of the round.

    Ultimately, while neither fighter did much, you have to score this round 10-9 Belcher.

Round 2

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    Again, the two fighters come out relatively tentative. Bisping goes for a high kick and lands a solid punch as he lands. Bisping starts to find his range, and starts throwing more kicks.

    Halfway into the round, Bisping starts finding a home for his right hook.

    Belcher identifies he's falling behind in the round. Bisping doesn't back down, though, and both fighters start trading. After the ten second clap, both fighters begin throwing. As the horn sounds, Bisping unleashes a flurry of punches.

    Have to give this round to Bisping, for actually landing more punches. 10-9 Bipsing.

Round 3

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    The spring is officially out of Alan Belcher's step. His feet are flat, his mouth is open and his movements are slow.

    Bisping knows this and takes advantage, landing hooks that Belcher can't seem to avoid. Belcher starts to talk and taunt, but there's no question that he is in trouble as Bisping is substantially faster and landing many more punches.

    Belcher shoots for an ugly, sloppy takedown but Bisping stuffs it easily. During an exchange, Belcher takes a hard poke to the eye from Bisping. Belcher is obviously hurt, and seems to actually be bleeding from his eye.

    The fight is waved to a close, which will bring about a technical decision. Bisping receives the nod 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

    This is a serious concern for Belcher. Belcher has had two surgeries on the eye that is now injured, which makes one wonder if this could be a career-ending turn of events.