Michael Bisping silenced Jason "Mayhem" Miller. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael Bisping handed Jason “Mayhem” Miller a beating he will not soon forget.
Bisping stymied Miller’s takedowns and abused him on the feet en route to a lopsided third-round technical knockout in “The Ultimate Fighter 14” Finale headliner on Saturday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The end came 3:34 into round three, as Bisping posted his fourth consecutive victory and continued to cement himself as one of the world’s top middleweights.
“He’s a tough guy,” Bisping said. “I knew if I was going to finish him, I’d have to have a high work rate. He’s a tough son of a gun.”
Once it became clear Miller could not engage on his terms, the fight was effectively over.
Miller (23-8, 0-2 UFC) delivered his only takedown midway through the first round, tied up Bisping’s legs with a modified mount and peppered the Brit with some light ground-and-pound. Bisping did not panic, returned to his feet and re-established himself in an upright position. Miller had no answer in the standup.
Round two was all Bisping (22-3, 12-3 UFC), outside of an accidental head butt that left him with a visible swelling on his brow. He turned away Miller’s takedowns and hammered the “Bully Beatdown” host with stout right hands and knees from the clinch. As fatigue and frustration took hold, Miller’s situation deteriorated. Bisping stuffed another attempted takedown in the third round and punished the former Icon Sport champion with punches, elbows and wicked knees to the body. Miller finally wilted, and referee Steve Mazzagatti called a merciful halt to the beating.
“I trained really hard for this fight. I’m sorry, guys. I got tired,” said Miller, who had not fought in the UFC in more than six years. “I can’t make any excuses about. For all the boos that Michael Bisping gets, he deserves your applause as a fighter.”
Bisping pointed to the first round as reason for concern as he pushes toward title contention.
“I’ll be honest. I wasn’t happy with that,” he said. “First round didn’t go [according] to plan. Second and third were good, but if I were to face the champion, a first round like that wouldn’t cut it, so I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Diego Brandao submitted Dennis Bermudez with a nasty first-round armbar in “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 featherweight final. His left arm badly hyperextended, Bermudez tapped out 4:51 into round one, his submission bringing a decisive end to a riveting encounter between two promising fighters.
The two 145-pound prospects traded heavy shots, each of them scoring a knockdown. Bermudez (7-3, 0-1 UFC) was closing in on victory late in the first round, having floored Brandao with a beautiful but brutal counter right hand. He pounced on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and unleashed his ground-and-pound. However, in his haste to finish, Bermudez left himself exposed. Brandao (14-7, 1-0 UFC) snatched the armbar, rolled into a dominant position and secured the tapout, Bermudez wincing in visible agony.
Dodson Finishes Dillashaw Fast
In “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 bantamweight final, the experience, speed and power of John Dodson proved too steep a mountain for Team Alpha Male representative T.J. Dillashaw to climb.
Dodson (12-5, 1-0 UFC) set the table for his first-round technical knockout with a ringing straight left, picked his shots with surgical patience and precision and then floored the previously unbeaten Dillashaw with a counter left hand behind the ear. He followed with a pair of quick left hooks and a few hammerfists, as referee Herb Dean moved in to halt it 1:54 into round one.
Dillashaw (4-1, 0-1 UFC) rose on wobbly legs and was assisted to his corner, having tasted defeat for the first time.
“Words cannot describe how I feel right now,” Dodson said. “You guys have no idea how long I’ve waited to be here.”
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 winner Tony Ferguson recorded his sixth consecutive victory, as he used a dominant first round as a springboard to a unanimous decision in a featured lightweight bout. All three cageside judges scored it for Ferguson (13-2, 3-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Ferguson had Edwards (41-18-1, 9-6 UFC) in serious trouble in the first period, as he cracked the American Top Team standout with a straight right hand and swarmed with a volley of punches. Edwards covered up, absorbed the punishment against the cage and recovered. Later, he shot in for a single-leg takedown near the end of the round. Ferguson countered it masterfully with a rolling omaplata.
Rounds two and three were far more competitive, as Edwards put together nice combinations and fired away with kicks to the legs, body and head. Ferguson, the heavier hitter, landed more shots of consequence, scored the only takedown of the fight and
did enough damage to sway the judges.
Bedford Brutalizes Gaudinot in TKO
Emboldened by a seven-inch height and eight-inch reach advantage, Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Johnny Bedford smashed through Louis Gaudinot en route to a third-round technical knockout in a bantamweight showcase. Bedford (18-9-1, 1-0 UFC) finished it 1:58 into round three.
Game but outgunned, Gaudinot (5-2, 0-1 UFC), a world-ranked flyweight, never found a foothold in the match. Taken down and mounted repeatedly, his considerable resolve ultimately failed him. After two one-sided rounds, Bedford attacked the Team Tiger Schulmann representative with wicked body shots and folded him at the base of the cage.
“That’s fun to watch,” Bedford said. “I’m known in the gym for going to the body. I don’t get to use it too much in my fights -- I don’t know why -- but you see it works, right there. That will drop anyone.”
A series of standing strikes, including knees and kicks to the body and shoulders, forced referee Steve Mazzagatti to step in. Bedford, a 28-year-old Oregon, Ohio, native, has won seven of his last eight bouts.
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