Michael Bisping’s superior conditioning was a big factor tonight as he overwhelmed an exhausted Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller inside of three rounds at the TUF 14 Finale.
The first was a good round round for ‘Mayhem’. His striking wasn’t particularly technical, but he was throwing hard and landed the bigger shots, while Bisping, who’s normally an accurate striker appeared to be struggling to find his rhythm against his akward opponent.
The big moments in the round though were on the ground with Mayhem taking Bisping down and then triangling his legs in almost a full mount against the cage. He wasn’t able to land any damaging blows from the position but he was in complete control for a several minutes.
Early in the second an accidental headbutt during an exchange forced a brief stoppage. Luckily it didn’t produce a cut, but Bisping was now sporting a lump on his brow.
As the round progressed Bisping started to get more and more into the fight while it was clear that Miller, who hadn’t fought in over a year, was noticeably tiring and being far less aggressive as a result and his take down attempts were coming too slow to be effective.
That allowed Bisping to start landing frequently and he further sapped his opponent strength by working hard shots to the body.
Mayhem was game though and continually motioned for Bisping to come at him, even dropping his hands at one stage and letting him have a couple of clean shots before covering up again.
By the end of the round Mayhem looked absolutely exhausted, while Bisping seemed fresh – a worrying sign for the former Strikeforce fighter given that this is a five round fight.
Miller comes out for the third round with his left eye swollen and his nose bloodied and there was more punishment to come as Bisping continued to pepper his face with punches.
With little left in the tank Mayhem lunges in for a takedown, but it’s easily stuffed and Bisping ends up on top. From their he begins a methodical ground and pound assault that eventually forces ‘Miller’ to turtle up and the referee makes a smart decision to stop the fight there and then.
Miller is exhausted, but Bisping is tired too, clearly having put a lot into the final stages of the fight to bring about the stoppage victory.
Despite the animosity between them the two TUF coaches then shake hands and are complimentary towards each other in the post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan with Bisping congratulating his rival for putting on an entertaining season of The Ultimate Fighter, while Miller gave credit to ‘The Count’s’ fighting abilities.