Posted 08/24/2014 by Mike Fagan in Untethered MMA
 
 

UFC Fight Night 48: Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le Review

I woke up under my own power around 8:30 in the morning (local time) and laid in bed for a few minutes, before sauntering into the living room. I turned on my TV and fired up Fight Pass on my home media PC. Ning Guangyou and Yang Jiaping were in the third round of their delayed The Ultimate Fighter: China finale. Twitter was not pleased – apparently Guangyou and Jiaping’s low output was indicative of the rest of the fight – but most of these degenerates had been awake since 4 or 5 in the morning.

Dana White awarded Guangyou the prestigious The Ultimate Fighter oversized paperweight. Zhang Lipeng and Brendan O’Reilly stepped into the cage next, and I’d be lying if I told you I remember anything significant about the fight. I guess I remember Lipeng draping the Chinese flag around his shoulders like a cape.

Then the first of two “real” fights started. Morning/afternoon MMA is great because it reminds me of watching WWF Superstars on Sunday morning as a kid. You wake up, watch some fights, and then you have the rest of the day ahead of you. And by “the rest of the day ahead of you,” I mean “another card to watch in 8 hours.”

DON’T COUNT OUT THE COUNT

The big question heading into Saturday morning’s main event was how much of Michael Bisping’s underwhelming performance against Tim Kennedy was due to the effects of his eye injury (including the layoff) and how much was a result of the ruthless aging curve.

If Saturday was any indication, Bisping still has some shelf life. He’s halfway into age 35, making it unlikely he’s in a position to make a title run in a suddenly stacked middleweight division, but he should remain competitive enough against most guys in the division.

I assume the UFC won’t pass on matching Bisping up with Luke Rockhold, as the two have been jawing back and forth over a variety of mediums lately. Rockhold’s gonna have to wait for Chris Weidman to defend his title against a deflated Vitor Belfort, and he’ll be behind “Jacare” Souza should Souza get past Gegard Mousasi on September 5. It’s a poor matchup for Bisping, but it’s a fight that should keep him in a relevant Fight Night main event/PPV or Fox co-main slot.

CUT CUNG

Bisping opened Cung Le up early on, and Le’s face went through worsening stages as the fight wore on. He went from Bryce Harper junior college eye black to raccoon face to roadkill raccoon face, and by the end of the fight he looked something like Sloth from the Goonies.

Le didn’t look awful, and the physical damage that occurred early had an effect that carried through until the finish. (In the post-fight, Le mentioned that he couldn’t see, and there’s a good argument that the fight should have been stopped in between rounds.) The UFC can probably still use him in Asia or San Jose, and maybe they can give him a gimme to send him riding out into the sunset.

But Le’s 42 years old, and has a more-or-less successful career acting in action movies. He’s not going to want to take another facial rearrangement like the one Bisping gave him. He didn’t give Kenny Florian any indication about retirement, but it would not surprise me if that was the last we saw from Cung Le inside the Octagon.

HE’S A DONGER

Tyron Woodley badly needed a win – an impressive win – after Rory MacDonald emasculated him at UFC 174. Woodley jumped at the chance at a quick turnaround when Hector Lombard pulled out of his fight with Dong Hyun Kim, and he redeemed himself with a TKO finish 61 seconds into the first round.

Like Luke Rockhold, Woodley’s still on the outside looking in with Robbie Lawler rematching Johny Hendricks early next year and Rory MacDonald an expected win against Tarec Saffiedine from securing his spot as next-in-line. Woodley will probably fight Lombard next with Carlos Condit recovering from his knee injury (plus having just fought Woodley) and Matt Brown coming off a loss to Lawler. Depending on timelines, Woodley vs. Lombard could determine who got next after MacDonald (or in place of MacDonald should any sort of chaos ensue)

The loss further solidifies the ceiling for Kim, who, at 32, now has losses to Condit, Demian Maia, and Woodley. That ceiling shouldn’t prevent him from hanging around the lower half of the top ten, however, and he should stick around the UFC for a while if he commits to a go-forward attacking style.

Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. Follow him on Twitter


Mike Fagan