While one punch didn’t end it, it certainly paved the way for Michael Bisping’s decisive victory over Cung Le.
A second-round punch delivered by the Brit in the second round, badly damaged Cung Le’s eye but eventually was chiefly responsible for Bisping finishing his opponent in the fourth round with a bevy of punches in the fourth round. The fight headlined Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 48 at The Venetian Macao’s CotaiArena.
Instead of the usual striking contests that UFC fans have become accustomed to, this match was definitely a kick-off to start with both fighters using their legs until Bisping’s punches finally started to connect.
The second round resulted in Le’s eye being injured by a Bisping jab. While the fighter thought that it was a poke, the replay clearly showed that Bisping’s attach was legal. With his eye not working at full capacity, Bisping was able to pepper his opponent with different shots and combinations. Le got a timeout as a cageside physician checked his eye out and cleared him to return to the match. Although he struggled, the former Strikeforce champion still made to the end of the round and was again cleared by the physician to continue.
In the middle of the third round, it almost seemed like Le was getting a second wind. With his face a bloody mess, he managed to thwart Bisping’s onslaught of punches and even began delivering kicks and counters of his own. The comeback, however, was brief and in the fourth round he went down as Bisping hit him at will.
“I took some time off and had some problems, and when I came back, it didn’t go well,” said Bisping, who suffered a detached retina and then looked flat in a loss to Tim Kennedy when he returned to the cage in April. “This is what I’m capable of, and believe me I’m capable of better.”
The winner also addressed the numerous call-outs he has received from Luke Rockhold.
“I want to be a world champion, and I know I have to back it,” he said. “This is backing it up. … I’m beating Luke Rockhold, and then I’m winning the title.”
Le, meanwhile, gave props to his opponent.
“After the first round, I couldn’t see, and I couldn’t mount much offense,” said the fighter/budding actor, who snapped a two-fight winning streak but suggest retirement isn’t imminent. “… I gave it my all, but he was the better man tonight.”
Here are the full UFC Fight Night 48 results:
Michael Bisping def. Cung Le via TKO (strikes) – Round 4, 0:57
Tyron Woodley def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:01
Zhang Lipeng def. Brendan O’Reilly via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ning Guangyou def. Jianping Yang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – wins “TUF: China” featherweight tournament
Wang Sai def. Danny Mitchell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alberto Mina def. Shinsho Anzai via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:17
Yuta Sasaki def. Roland Delorme via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:06
Colby Covington def. Anying Wang via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 4:50
Royston Wee def. Yao Zhikui via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Milana Dudieva def. Elizabeth Phillips via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Tags: Cung Le, Michael Bisping, Mixed Martial Arts