Maybe Michael Bisping should have spent a little more time convalescing.
Kelvin Gastelum knocked out the former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 122 headliner on Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Three weeks to the day after being deposed as 185-pound champion, Bisping (30-9, 20-9 UFC) bit the dust 2:30 into Round 1. His decision to replace a suspended Anderson Silva on short notice did not go according to plan.
Gastelum (14-3, 9-3 UFC) waited for his opportunity and did not miss. He drilled Bisping with a two-punch combination, punctuating the quick volley with a destructive left hook that dropped “The Count” where he stood. Gastelum mopped up what was left with follow-up punches, as the Kings MMA rep won for the sixth time in seven outings.
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Li Shoots Down Ottow
China Top Team torchbearer Jingliang Li disposed of Zak Ottow with punches in the first round of their welterweight co-main event. Ottow (15-5, 2-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:57 into Round 1, as the Milwaukee native lost for just the second time in eight appearances.
Li (14-4, 6-2 UFC) countered a leg kick, floored the King of the Cage veteran with a straight right and swarmed with punches. Ottow curled up in a desperate bid to withstand the follow-up assault. However, Li was relentless with punches and hammerfists, forcing referee Herb Dean to intervene on the American’s behalf.
The 29-year-old Li has pieced together a four-fight winning streak since his September 2015 submission loss to Keita Nakamura.
Debuting Wang Edges Caceres
Xian Sports University standout Guan Wang put his fifth straight win in the books, as he wound up on the right side of a split decision against “The Ultimate Fighter 12” alum Alex Caceres in a three-round featherweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Christopher Shen and Paul Sutherland for Wang, Kon Papaioannou for Caceres.
Wang (17-1-1, 1-0 UFC) had the MMA Lab export reeling on multiple occasions in the opening round, first with a short standing elbow strike and later with a penetrating straight left. Caceres (13-11, 8-9 UFC) hit the deck in the waning moments and was perhaps saved by the bell. Wang dazed the Miami native again early in the middle stanza and opened a cut near his right eye in the third. Caceres was the aggressor down the stretch but could not do enough to erase the early work of his opponent.
The 29-year-old Caceres has lost three of his last four fights.
Garcia Choke Submits Salikhov
Tristar Gym representative Alex Garcia spoiled the hyped promotional debut of Muslim Salikhov, as he submitted the M-1 Global veteran with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featured clash at 170 pounds. Salikhov (12-2, 0-1 UFC) conceded defeat 3:22 into Round 2.
Garcia (15-4, 5-3 UFC) absorbed the Dagestani kickboxer’s trademark spinning attacks and paired takedowns with smothering top control. Salikhov was ineffective off his back. Midway through the second round, Garcia executed a takedown and used a quick burst of ground-and-pound to advance to the back. The choke was in place before Salikhov could react, and the tapout followed soon after.
The loss snapped Salikhov’s 10-fight winning streak.
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