Sherdog Remembers: Controversy in London

By Jeff Villanueva Feb 27, 2018

From the very beginning of his career, Michael Bisping has been very outspoken. But who can blame him? He knows what he says and he follows it up with his grit. And although Bisping’s prediction to knock Anderson Silva out with a head kick at UFC Fight Night 84 proved too difficult to accomplish, a unanimous decision is still considered a victory, even if it was a controversial one.

“I'm going to handle it the old-fashioned way by sticking [fists] right in his face,” Bisping said during one of the pre-fight interviews. He believed that Silva would go down: “It doesn't matter which way he stands. He could stand southpaw, he could stand orthodox -- he could stand on his head for all I care. It doesn't matter. He's coming over to England -- my home -- and he's going to lose. It's as simple as that.”

Two years ago today, on Feb. 27, 2016 in front of a sold-out O2 Arena in London, controversy broke out. This is how’s Mike Sloan recalled the bout in his original deadline recap:

Former undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Anderson Silva thought he had a knockout at the end of the third when he leveled Michael Bisping with a flying knee. But when referee Herb Dean ruled that the fight wasn’t over due to complications with Bisping losing his mouth piece and the horn ending the frame, the fight continued.

The main event of UFC Fight Night “Silva vs. Bisping” inside the famed O2 Arena lived up to the hype as local hero Bisping pulled off a sizable upset. “The Count” rocked the Brazilian in the opening frame and then dropped the former champ with a flurry in the second, but Silva was able to recover both times.

The tides turned in Silva’s favor in the third and after he cut Bisping around his left eye, he nearly scored the knockout as time expired. When Bisping motioned to Dean that he lost his mouthpiece, Silva unloaded a flying knee and dropped the Englishman, seemingly out. Replays showed that the horn to end the stanza came a second or two after Bisping fell, but the veteran referee couldn’t hear it and ruled that the round had ended.

Silva thought he had won and it took several moments for him to realize that the fight was to go on. From there, Bisping rallied in the fourth and even though he was badly dazed in the fifth from a push kick to the face, he continued to fight on. Even after the Brit suffered a shattered nose and had two nasty lacerations above and below his left eye, and with blood pouring out of his face, he was able to do just enough in three of the five rounds to earn a unanimous decision. “The Count” was awarded the nod with scores of 48-47 on all three scorecards, pulling off a somewhat sizeable upset in front of his hometown fans.

“This has been a lifelong quest,” an emotional Bisping said afterward. “I’ve wanted this fight for a long time. Anderson Silva is one of the greatest martial artists of all-time. If it wasn’t for (Silva) I wouldn’t be here right now.

“I think I need to go see a doctor and maybe a beer,” Bisping added with a laugh.

Silva felt differently, believing he had won the contest.

“You saw the fight,” he grumbled. “I thought it went differently. The mission was given and I thought the mission was completed. I guess not.”

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