For the third time in August, UFC brought thrilling matchups to the masses with an overseas Fight Night event featuring one of the best middleweight main events of the year. Michael Bisping, looking for his first win in 16 months, took on Cung Le in Macau.
In addition to that main event featuring two heavy hitters, the undercard featured a welterweight clash between fighters always on the brink of becoming pay-per-view mainstays, Tyron Woodley and Dong Hyun Kim.
Even in the midst of a busy summer in the Octagon, there was so much intrigue and potential for this card that it would have been hard to disappoint. We've got a recap of all the action, including results, scorecards and top stories coming out of China.
|UFC Fight Night 48 Results|
|Main Card||Winner||Result||Scorecard (If Applicable)|
|Middleweight: Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le||Michael Bisping||4th-Round TKO (Punches)||N/A|
|Welterweight: Tyron Woodley vs. Dong Hyun Kim||Tyron Woodley||1st-Round TKO (Punches)||N/A|
|Lightweight: Zhang Lipeng vs. Brendan O'Reilly||Zhang Lipeng||Unanimous Decision||29-28, 30-27, 30-27|
|Featherweight: Ning Guangyou vs. Yang Jianping||Ning Guangyou||Unanimous Decision||29-28, 29-28, 29-28|
|Preliminary Card||Winner||Result||Scorecard (If Applicable)|
|Welterweight: Wang Sai vs. Danny Mitchell||Wang Sai||Unanimous Decision||29-28, 29-28, 29-28|
|Welterweight: Alberto Mina vs. Shinsho Anzai||Alberto Mina||1st-Round TKO (Punches)||N/A|
|Bantamweight: Yuta Sasaki vs. Roland Delorme||Yuta Sasaki||1st-Round Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)||N/A|
|Welterweight: Colby Covington vs. Wang Anying||Colby Covington||1st-Round Submission (Punches)||N/A|
|Bantamweight: Royston Wee vs. Yao Zhikui||Royston Wee||Split Decision||29-28, 29-28, 27-30|
|Women's Bantamweight: Milana Dudieva vs. Elizabeth Phillips||Milana Dudieva||Split Decision||30-27, 29-28, 28-29|
The main event was a showcase for Bisping, who dominated Le to the point where the 42-year-old had trouble seeing out of his eyes. The England native was landing heavy punches with effective kicks mixed in to pick apart Le's face, specifically around his eyes.
Referee John Sharp stopped the action about halfway through Round 2 to check on Le's eyes because there was a cut around one and the other was swelling up. Give credit to Le for showing his toughness and resilency, making it into the fourth round before Sharp finally stopped it.
Jon Anik of Fox Sports 1 noted that this was a huge win for Bisping, who has been trading wins and losses in his last five fights coming into this match:
Bisping is always a frustrating guy to watch fight. You see a performance like this, albeit against someone who hasn't fought in nearly two years, and see why he's been in the mix for a title shot at various times in the past.
Yet when the big moment comes and Bisping has to showcase all of his best attributes, the light in his brain turns off. That's why he is just 3-3 in his last six fights and hasn't been elevated past a certain point in his career.
It also wouldn't be a Bisping fight if he wasn't antagonizing someone. In this case, it was the fans in attendance who were giving him a hard time. After the fight, the former Ultimate Fighter winner had some choice words, via Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com (Caution: Contains language that is NSFW):
Early on in the card, it appeared like the fans in China weren't going to have a lot to cheer about. The first two bouts on the undercard were slow, plodding fights that went to the judges table. It wouldn't last, as the next three matches all ended in the first round.
Colby Covington got the action rolling, knocking out Wang Anying with just 10 seconds left in the first round. Jason Floyd of TheMMAReport.com tweeted out just how dominant Covington was in the punching department:
Considering this was Covington's first UFC fight and he is only 26 years old, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get a bump up the card next time he steps into the Octagon.
Yuta Sasaki seemed like a lock for quickest finish on the card when he submitted Roland Delorme 66 seconds into the fight. Helwani was gushing about the promotional debut for the 24-year-old:
However, Woodley would make a profound statement in his bout with Dong Hyun Kim. The Chosen One ended his fight in 61 seconds with a huge punch that dropped the South Korean star.
Woodley has always been on the periphery of a welterweight title fight, but once he gets into a No. 1 contender fight, the bottom drops out. It happened against Jake Shields at UFC 161 and Rory MacDonald at UFC 174.
The 32-year-old has even acknowledged that it's on him to put everything together, via E. Spencer Kyle of UFC.com, since the ability has always been there:
I think some people have the problem of not having the skill or the power or the athleticism or the work ethic or the conditioning or the coaches. I have everything. I was blessed with genuine gifts from God, I have a great mindset, and I also train hard and have a great work ethic, so all those things put together with a great circle, great people, I have all the tools to be the best.
Woodley's win over Kim could be a sign that's he's finally figured things out. It was his first legitimate knockout since defeating Josh Koscheck last November. He's evolved from a pure wrestler into a strong all-around fighter, so there really is no ceiling for him.
All told, it was a great day for UFC. The top matches delivered exactly what they were supposed to, with the better fighters winning, and the card really picked up steam after starting out slowly. Bisping and Woodley are positioned to move up the rankings in their respective weight classes, though both will need to do more in order to get in the title mix.
If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter.