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Sunday, Oct 17, 2010

Bisping Decisions Akiyama; Condit KO’s Hardy

By Dustin Lee DePue
London, England—Michael “The Count” Bisping gave the British fans at the O2 arena something to cheer about as he prevailed in a rousing slugfest with Yoshihiro Akiyama.  Bisping’s countrymen Dan Hardy and John Hathaway were not as lucky as they both absorbed losses Saturday night to Carlos Condit and Mike Pyle respectively. 
In the main event, Bisping and Akiyama spent three full rounds labeling each other with stiff right hands but it was Bisping’s combinations and conditioning that gave him the earned him the unanimous decision.  As in his last fight with Dennis Kang, Bisping was tagged early with a stiff right hand and had to shake the cobwebs out during the opening seconds of the fight.  This time, it was an overhand right by Akiyama that put Bisping in danger.  Akiyama pressed, landing a right straight and several snapping jabs but Bisping was able to reset himself and scored with a pair of fast one-two’s that signaled a shift in the round.  Midway through the round, Bisping surpassed Akiyama in production and punches landed.  He found continued success with his right straight and finished the round with a flying knee.
The second round started with a bang as Bisping landed a one-two and Akiyama answered with a hard right hook.  The round quickly turned into a slug fest with both fighters landing big punches.  Bisping landed more punches, including a three or four clean, hard right hands and several kicks to the body.  Akiyama stole some of Bisping’s thunder at the end of the round, landing a right hook that shook him up.
The sheer number of hard punches landed by Bisping began to take their toll on Akiyama’s speed and movement in the third round.  He flurried in the opening seconds of the round but Bisping defended and countered with a kick to the head.  Bisping spent the rest of the round bouncing punches off of Akiyama’s head, which may very well be made of bricks considering the amount of damage he took.  It wasn’t until late in the round that Akiyama was finally staggered from a punch but he quickly came roaring back, finishing the round with a display of fighting spirit that transcended winning and losing.  In the end, Bisping earned a well-deserved unanimous decision victory by three scores of 30-27.
In the co-main event, Carlos Condit stopped hometown hero Dan Hardy with a wicked knockout late in the first round.  Both fighters were content to stand and traded low and high kicks for most of the round.  Hardy landed a couple of counter left hooks and Condit nearly landed a hard spinning back elbow in an evenly contested matchup.  The end came in the final minute of the first round when both fighters planted their feet and threw left hooks at the same time.  Condit landed first with a shot right on the button that dropped Hardy onto his back.  Condit followed up with a pair of punches to the chin that knocked out Hardy with just 33 seconds left in the round. 
Cagey veteran Mike Pyle handed John Hathaway his first loss, using his grappling prowess to keep Hathaway on defense for much of the fight en route to a unanimous decision victory.  In the first round Pyle scored a pair of takedowns and found a home for his overhand right, landing the punch many times and staggering Hathaway at one point.  In the second round, Hathaway started to get into a rhythm, landing a solid left straight and increasing his output before Pyle put Hathaway’s offense to a screeching halt by putting him on his back and getting side control.  From there, Pyle locked up a triangle and spent half of the round dropping punches and elbows onto Hathaway’s forehead. 
Hathaway tried to get Pyle to the mat in the third round but it was Pyle that scored the takedown, bringing Hathaway down with a single leg.  Hathaway tried to set up an armbar but Pyle slid right through to side control in a beautiful display of jiu-jitsu.  He finished the round strong, landing punches and elbows from on top and earned a well-deserved unanimous decision by three scores of 30-27.
Neither Cheick Kongo nor Travis Browne walked out of the octagon with a loss on their record as the two heavyweights fought to a draw.  Browne started the fight aggressively pursuing Kongo with lunging hooks and overhand punches.  Kongo kept his distance, landing several hard low kicks before closing the distance himself to try to land a punch combination.  Browne beat him to the punch, staggering Kongo with a left hook.  Browne followed it up with a right hook and hard knees from the clinch and clearly won the round. 
Kongo found a target for his punches in the second round as he slipped in counter punches as Browne advanced.  He caught Browne with a stiff right cross early in the round and hurt him with a series of hooks as Browne covered.  In the clinch, Kongo pounded Browne’s thighs with sharp knees until they turned purple.  In the final round, Kongo was docked a point for holding onto Browne’s shorts. He spent the final minute pressing for the finish and landed some punches but it was not enough to overcome the point deduction and the fight was ruled a draw by three scores of 28-28. 
Alexander Gustafsson kicked off the broadcast by putting a beating on Cyrille Diabate before finishing him with a rear naked choke.  Gustafsson overwhelmed Diabate with punches in the first round, catching him with punch combinations as he attempted to clinch and rocking him with a left hand and then again with a hard uppercut.   Gustafsson switched gears in the second round, taking his worn out opponent to the mat and working his way to back mount where he unleashed a flurry of hard punches to set up a rear naked choke for the tapout at 2:41.
Televised Results
Michael Bisping def Yoshihiro Akiyama by Unanimous Decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Carlos Condit def Dan Hardy by KO 4:27 Rd 2
Mike Pyle def John Hathaway by Unanimous Decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Cheick Kongo Draws Travis Browne 28-28, 28-28, 28-28
Alexander Gustafsson def Cyrille Diabate by Rear Naked Choke 2:41 Rd 2
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 3:28 am
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