Michael Bisping scrapped past Thales Leites by split decision tonight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 72 after finding himself on the back foot for much of the fight.
The main event is underway. Bisping feels out with the jab and Leites lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Leites, but it lands to the groin and forces a stoppage. They get back to it fairly quickly though. Bisping fakes a kick and throws a punch.
Leites with a hook, but then Bisping counters with a hard punch. leg kick from Bisping. He pushes forward with a jab and then an overhand that just glances his opponents head.
Bisping counters nicely again. He puts together a good combination with a kick behind it upstairs. Leites with a hard left and right. Bisping moves away and throws a kick that’s blocked by the Brazilian.
Uppercut lands for Leites. Right hook for him. Bisping with a high kick thats blocked and Leites returns fire with a leg kick.
leg kick for Bisping and then again. Leites steps right into a hard leg kick, but he gets caught with a counter punch. Bisping with a jab series and then a right behind it.
Takedown now with Bisping on top, but Leites is working hard to try to reverse this position. He manages to and as Bisping tries to stand Leites suddenly has his back.
Bisping moves to the cage and gets his back partially up against it in defense. He stands up, but Leites weighing heavily on him and has him down again as the round ends.
Leg kick from Leites and a couple of punches behind it. Overhand right in return from Bisping now. leites lands a hook. leg kick for Bisping. Another leg kick for Bisping. Leites aggressively forward with a series of punches and Bisping moves away. Hook lands for Leites and he eats a counter in return.
Leg kick attempt from Bisping, but he stumbles awkwardly off of it. Nice punch from Leites and Bisping moves again. Hard leg kick for the Brazilian. Bisping tries to go upstairs with a head kick. Now a leg kick.
Leg kick for Leites and gets counter by a punch upstairs. Ovehand lands for Bisping. Inside leg kick for Bisping, a regular weapon for him so far in this fight. He lands another one. Leites with an uppercut. Bisping catches a kick and lands a punch.
Bisping stepping up his volume in the latter stages of this round and ends it with a spinning kick attempt that just misses.
Body kick for Leites and a leg kick for Bisping. Hard left and even bigger right hook combo from Leites buckles Bisping’s legs against the cage. He follows up with another couple of punches and Bisping’s legs again dip for a second, but he hangs on in there and is able to get away from danger for now.
A couple of jabs and a right hand for Bisping, then a leg kick. Leites has a cut to his left eye, but Bisping has a little blood on his face too. Another kick for Bisping. He lands the jab and leites is starting to slow down a little bit.
Punch and a kick for Bisping, but Leites lands a harder kick to the leg himself. Another exchange. Good right hand for the Brazilian as we reach the midway point of the round.
Bisping with a spinning kick to the body. A few more punches from him as he tries to outwork his opponent. A couple of nice kicks from leites now.
Leg kick lands well for Leites. A few punches from Bisping and then a leg kick, but leites catches it and takes him down. Surprisingly he leaves some space and Bisping gets back up.
left and a straight right down the pipe connects for the Brit. A right hand and then an uppercut lands for leites close to the cage and Bisping has to move out and circle away.
Good left hand gets through for Leites and puts a few more strikes behind it.
Bisping starts to work the jab and then an inside leg kick. Left hand for Bisping and another leg kick. Hard leg kick for Leites and a good counter from Bisping.
Little flurry for Leites against the cage. Bisping wants to work behind the jab, but he’s having trouble when Leites wades forward with heavier strikes.
leites chops the shin to the thigh again. Leites constantly taking the center of the Octagon and Bisping’s circling around him. A couple of legs for Bisping. He tries to go upstairs with a kick, but eats a punch for his troubles.
Another leg kick for Bisping. They clash legs as both go for one at the same time. Leites with a left hand. Double jab and a right from Bisping. Leg kick and now a body kick from Bisping. Bisping has to lean away from a few punches from Leites.
Leites in on a takedown attempt off a kick from Bisping, but it’s stuffed. Chopping kick for Leites. Less volume from him at the moment overall though.
Jab lands for Bisping and ducks away from a punch in return. Leg kick and then a body kick from Bisping in the final 10 seconds then Leites leaps into a head kick attempt that’s blocked.
Onto the final round then. leites to the center of the cage again pushing the action and lands a punch. He flurries against the cage and Bisping has to move out of danger. He gets caught backed up against the cage too often in this fight.
Leites back to the leg kick. Both men miss with punches in close. Nice few jabs from Bisping and not quite a clean connection on the right behind it.
Again with the jab from Bisping. Leites comes in aggressively with some heavy punches, but a counter backs him up.
nice pressure from Leites here. Bisping with a flurry and Leites shakes his head as if it didn’t hurt. He then puts a few hands on Bisping’s head.
Clean connections from Leites against the cage. Three jabs and a right hand from Bisping. Leites misses on an overhand. Leites wades in and eats a solid counter from Bisping.
Right hand lands for the Brit with two minutes remaining. Labored hook misses from Leites. Bisping drills him with a combination and Leites shakes his head again.
Leites continues marching forward though. He lands a body kick. Both men trading punches.
Leg kick from Bisping and gets out of reach from a punch in return. Hook lands for Leites that Bisping can’t avoid and he stumbles back slightly, but seems ok.
Leites still throwing some big power punches in the final stages of this fight. Bisping leaps into a strike, but straight into a punch from Leites. The Brazilian jumping into a kick now and that’s it, this one is going to the judges scorecards.
Interesting to see how this one was scored. Leites had the constant pressure and bigger shots in the fight, but Bisping put together the greater volume of strikes working on the outside.
The judges verdict is in and it’s a split decision, but it’s Bisping who gets the nod from two of the judges which hands him a potentially controversial victory (49-46, 47-48, 49-48).