Michael Bisping put a beating on Cung Le. | Photo: Mitch Viquez/Zuffa/UFC/Getty
Sometimes you have to give the devil his due.
Michael Bisping offered Cung Le no quarter, as he dissected the former Strikeforce champion before finishing him with a fourth-round knee strike and follow-up punches in the UFC Fight Night “Bisping vs. Le” headliner on Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China. His mouth, nose and both eyes damaged, Le (9-3, 2-2 UFC) finally wilted 57 seconds into round four.
Bisping (25-6, 15-6 UFC) utilized the volume striking, deft footwork and cardio for which he has become known. A stiff left jab in the second round resulted in the closing of Le’s right eye and left him vulnerable to subsequent attacks. The 42-year-old sanshou stylist was effective in spurts, particularly with kicks to the body and right hooks to the head, but he could not mount enough offense to keep Bisping at bay.
Less than a minute into the fourth round, Bisping unleashed a stream of punches to the body that shut down his counterpart. Feet and fists flew next, and “The Count” punctuated his barrage with a beautiful knee to the head that dropped Le where he stood and resulted in the stoppage soon after.
Woodley Dismisses Kim in 61 Seconds
American Top Team’s Tyron Woodley wiped out Dong Hyun Kim with a counter right hook and follow-up punches in the first round of their welterweight co-main event. Woodley (14-3, 4-2 UFC), who replaced the injured Hector Lombard on short notice, drew the curtain 61 seconds into round one, as he won for the third time in four appearances.
Kim’s aggression was used against him. Woodley countered a spinning back elbow from the South Korean judoka with a ringing right behind the ear. A dazed Kim (19-3-1, 10-3 UFC) collapsed to the mat, where he was met with a flurry of clubbing rights and lefts that led referee Leon Roberts to intervene.
The defeat halted Kim’s four-fight winning streak.
Zhang Overwhelms Aussie O’Reilly
“The Ultimate Fighter: China” winner Lipeng Zhang spoiled the promotional debut of Brendan O'Reilly, as he cruised to a unanimous decision over the Australian grappler in a lightweight showcase. Zhang (8-7-1, 2-0 UFC) swept the scorecards, earning 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 nods from the judges.
A competitive round one gave way to increasing dominance from Zhang. The 24-year-old moved to O’Reilly’s back in the second round and again in the third, where he badly bloodied the Aussie’s lip, trapped him in a body triangle and unleashed with punches from the rear. Though the rear-naked choke Zhang sought did not come to fruition, O’Reilly (5-1, 0-1 UFC) had been reduced to a man in survival mode.
Ning Joins ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Pantheon
Guangyou Ning leaned on takedowns and persistent forward pressure in capturing a unanimous verdict over Fight Emperor representative Jianping Yang in “The Ultimate Fighter: China” featherweight final. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Ning (4-2-1, 1-0 UFC).
Under constant duress, Yang (6-4-1, 0-1 UFC) was forced into an almost perpetual state of defense. Ning struck for takedowns in each of the first two rounds and caught an arm-in guillotine choke during a transition in the second, nearly eliciting a tapout. Neither man did much of note in the third round, where Yang attacked with inside leg kicks but did not pursue the finish he needed with the fervor necessary to secure it.
Sai Notches First Octagon Victory
Near-flawless takedown defense, effective close-quarters striking and some early ground-and-pound drove “The Ultimate Fighter: China” finalist Wang Sai to a unanimous verdict against Danny Mitchell in a preliminary welterweight tilt. Sai (7-5-1, 1-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with identical 29-28 marks.
Outside of a handful of leg kicks and a late third-round takedown, Mitchell (14-6-1, 0-2 UFC) was largely unproductive. Sai confronted the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the clinch, piling up points with punches and elbows. He also landed the definitive strikes at a distance, cracking Mitchell with heavy right hands in the second and third rounds.
Mitchell, 28, has dropped back-to-back bouts for just the second time in his career.
Undefeated Mina Stops Anzai
Alberto Mina took care of middleweight King of Pancrase Shinsho Anzai with a searing two-punch combination and follow-up hammerfists in the first round of their undercard encounter at 170 pounds. Mina (11-0, 1-0 UFC) finished it 4:17 into round one.
Neither man held back. Anzai (8-2, 0-1 UFC) -- a late replacement for the injured Sheldon Westcott -- neutralized the Hong Kong-based Brazilian’s 8.5-inch reach advantage with winging power punches, relentless forward movement and a well-timed takedown. Mina kept his cool, fired back and answered the Japanese import at every turn. Late in the first round, he floored Anzai with a right uppercut-left hook combination, followed him to the mat and closed the deal with a volley of unanswered hammerfists.
Mina, 32, now has nine first-round finishes to his credit.
Sasaki Choke Sinks Delorme
Onetime Shooto Pacific Rim champion Yuta Sasaki dazzled in his Octagon debut, as he submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 graduate Roland Delorme with a first-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary bantamweight affair. Delorme (9-4, 3-3 UFC) conceded defeat 66 seconds into round one.
Sasaki (18-1-2, 1-0 UFC) was the aggressor from the start. He backed up Delorme with punches and kicks, changed levels for a takedown and jumped to the Canadian judoka’s back. In a blink, the choke was in place. Delorme tried to free himself from danger but was left with no choice but to tap out.
The 24-year-old Sasaki has won eight consecutive fights.
Prospect Covington Wrecks Wang
American Top Team prospect Colby Covington struck an overmatched Anying Wang into submission with first-round ground-and-pound in an undercard duel at 170 pounds. Wang (2-1, 0-1 UFC) asked out of the match 4:50 into round one, as he experienced his first professional defeat.
A two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Oregon State University, Covington (6-0, 1-0 UFC) secured a pair of takedowns and brutalized the sanda practitioner with punches and elbows, operating effectively in side control, half guard and full guard.
With a little more than a minute left in round one, Covington grounded Wang and punished him with short elbows, one of which opened a cut near his left eye. Standing-to-ground punches and hammerfists followed, the onslaught forcing Wang into submission.
Singapore’s Wee Stays Unbeaten
Royston Wee kept his perfect professional record intact, as he escaped with a contentious split decision over China Top Team’s Zhuikui Yao in an undercard battle at 135 pounds. Two of the three cageside judges -- Howard Hughes and Paul Sutherland -- arrived at a 29-28 verdict in Wee’s favor; a third, Charlie Keech, saw it 30-27 for Yao.
Wee (4-0, 2-0 UFC) did his best work in the first round, where he struck for a takedown, jumped to his opponent’s back, set his hooks and fished for a rear-naked choke. Yao (1-2, 0-1 UFC) eventually escaped to top position, setting the tone for a series of back-and-forth exchanges between the two bantamweights. The 23-year-old established his superiority on the feet, damaged Wee’s nose with a short left hand in the second round and opened a nasty horizontal gash near his left eye with heavy ground-and-pound in the third. However, the judges favored the work Wee put in on the ground.
Newcomer Dudieva Edges Phillips
Right hands paired with takedowns carried Milana Dudieva to a controversial split decision over Sikjitsu representative Elizabeth Phillips in a preliminary women’s bantamweight clash. Two of the three cageside judges -- Anthony Dimitriou and Hughes -- scored it for Dudieva, casting 30-27 and 29-28 marks in her favor; a third, Garth Harriman, saw it 29-28 for Phillips.
Dudieva (11-3, 1-0 UFC) swarmed into the clinch behind winging right hands more than once and secured takedowns in all three rounds. On all three occasions, Phillips (4-3, 0-2 UFC) scrambled into top position, thwarted the Russian newcomer’s submission attempts and scored with mild but consistent ground-and-pound.
The 25-year-old Dudieva has won three fights in a row.