Bisping vs Henderson | Belfort vs Mousasi | Saint Preux vs Manuwa | Struve vs Omielanczuk | Bektic vs Doane | Pickett vs Alcantara | Grant vs Stasiak | Edwards vs Tumenov | Sajewski vs Diakiese | Roberts vs Perry | Santos vs Martins | Luque vs Urbina | Franca vs Gillespie
UFC 204: Bisping vs Henderson 2 main card
Main event: Michael Bisping defeats Dan Henderson
Bisping wins in Manchester by unanimous decision! The judges’ scorecards read 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 all in favor of the Manchester native.
- Read even more about the UFC 204 main event | Henderson falls short in title bid; leaves lasting legacy in Octagon | Watch: Emotional Octagon interviews
This was a back-and-forth affair until the second round when Mousasi landed a brutal leg kick, followed by bunches of punches that sent Belfort into a tailspin. Eventually, Mousasi got Belfort to the ground and earned the TKO victory.
- Read even more about the UFC 204 main card fights | Mousasi backstage interview | Mousasi Octagon interview
They said it:
Gegard Mousasi: “I feel good, ready for the next one. I think I’m number five in the division now. Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson are in front of me but I don’t think I need to prove that I’m a better fighter than them. I’m way more technical than them. I’m in the top five of the middleweights for sure. To get a finish is always better, that’s what the fans want to see. I think I was flawless in the fight - a flawless victory, baby!"
WOW! Jimi Manuwa made the top blow off Manchester Arena with a combination in the second round that started with a left to the body, a right that knocked down Saint Preux briefly, a left-right combination to the head, and a devastating final left that dropped OSP with conviction for the KO victory.
They said it:
Jimi Manuwa: “All the hard work I put in over the weeks and months paid off on the night. People come to see me fight because I don’t come for decisions. I come to put my opponents away. Doing it in front of a UK crowd makes it even more special. Look at the size and the volume of the crowd, it gives me energy and it’s a great feeling. I should be top five now and that’s a great feeling, to be in the top five in my weight category in the world."
“Skyscrapper” Struve recorded his 10th career finish, tied for fourth-most in the heavyweight division, with a D’arce choke submission victory over Omielanczuk. Although it was his first submission victory since 2012, it was the fifth of his career, second most for any heavyweight.
They said it:
Stefan Struve: “My legs weren’t fast enough out there. My legs felt a little tired. Before the fight I knew that if it went to the ground, I would be able to get the submission. I took my time and tried not to tire myself out too much. The darce is one of my favourites. I would love a big fight next to prove that I’m still one of the best in the world. The goal is of course that rematch to fight for the belt so I would love that opportunity."
Daniel Omielanczuk: “I think I won the first round, mostly standing. In the second round I got caught in that darce coke and that was it. I felt that I was doing well before that. I think the fight shows that I need to work more and more to get even better, and to show in the future that I can win fights on this level."
Bektic was dominant yet patient in this encounter, taking down Doane early and remaining in control for over three minutes until he could get in position for a rear naked choke submission victory in the first round.
They said it:
Mirsad Bektic: “This moment feels so natural. I’ve been visualising it for so long. We’ve had so many opponent changes but I just stayed focused on myself and what was going to happen. I got injured so I was away for a little bit but I’ve been in my room all week, staying focused, focusing on my fight and I just really wanted to enjoy the moment and look out at the crowd. I'll take that moment with me when I die. I’ve been a prospect for a long time but I’m not a prospect any more; I’m a contender and that’s that."
Russell Doane: “I took this fight on short notice. I came out, I fought. It is what it is. I’m going to have a baby this month so I’m going to take some time off, help out with the baby and then I’ll get right back to training after that.”
Alcantara made quick work out of Pickett. The Brazilian rocked Pickett with a spinning back elbow and eventually got him to the ground, where he was in control and locked Pickett into a mounted triangle, then an armbar, and finally back into a triangle for the victory in less than 2 minutes.
They said it:
Iuri Alcantara: “I think the late night maybe affected me a little bit. He started out how I expected him to. He was quite aggressive and he came forward. I need to watch the fight back. I knew he was going to be a fast starter, but I wanted to try and weather the storm but I wasn’t able to. I’m just absolutely gutted."
Brad Pickett: “I feel pure happiness. That was my plan – to finish the fight quickly and it all worked out. I’d like to fight again at the end of this year. I will do whatever the UFC tells me to do. I want to go back into the top 15 rankings so I’m expecting to face someone from the Top 10 or Top 15 next."
Wow! A tight battle that looked set for the scorecards and was tied on two scorecards going into the final round was settled before the judges’ got the opportunity to decide a winner when Stasiak caught Grant in an armbar just past halfway in the final round. Grant tried desperately to get out of it, but he could not break out and had no option but to submit.
They said it:
Damian Stasiak: “I am very happy, what can I say? Manchester is an amazing city so it was great to get to fight here and to win in front of the spectators here. I’m looking forward to coming back and fighting again in the UFC. It isn’t important who I fight. I will fight whoever I am given. I’d like to be back in March/April time.”
Davey Grant: “I felt comfortable. He was good on the floor but I felt like I was winning the stand up all day long. But when I got on top, I thought I was two rounds up so I would gain a bit of time in top position but then I got caught. I think my arm might possibly be broken. I felt it cracking when I was in the arm bar but I just didn’t want to tap, it meant too much. I’ll be straight back in the gym as soon as my arm is fixed."
This fight featured multiple twists and turns. Edwards dominated the first round, landing 23 strikes to Tumenov’s 2 and successfully securing 3 takedowns with strong grappling. Tumenov started gaining control throughout the second round and parts of the third. Just when it was looking bleak for Edwards, the Jamaican fighting out of Birmingham turned the tables with a rear naked choke to earn the submission win.
They said it:
Leon Edwards: “It was a tough fight. Albert is one of the best strikers in the division but I went out there knowing that I could beat him wherever the fight went. He got the better of me in the second round but I stayed composed, stayed confident and got the finish. I’ll fight them all – I’ll fight whoever they give me so it doesn’t matter who’s next. The support tonight means a lot. I remember being a kid and coming to the UFC in London and watching it, and saying 'one day I’ll be in the UFC fighting in England’ and now here I am. I came through and got the victory here tonight so that means a lot".
Albert Tumenov: “I tried to keep it standing but today was just his day, what more can I say? I just want to get back to fighting at my level. I want to get back there right away."
Marc Diakiese showed off his power in his UFC debut. The Manchester resident struggled initially as Sajewski grappled him to the ground, but when Diakiese was able to battle in the standup he was the much better fighter. The contest went deep into the second round until Diakiese cornered Sajewski and proceeded to throw countless jabs and knees until finishing his rival by TKO with 20 seconds remaining in the round.
They said it:
Marc Diakiese: “This is the best feeling in the world. I’ve worked so hard for this moment and now it’s here and I’m starting to enjoy it. I’ve got great fans behind me; the support is amazing. I’m going to work to bring the belt to the UK for the fans. In the UFC you’ve got to entertain. UK fans like to see great fights and that’s what I’m looking to give them. Whatever UFC gives me next, I’m here. I’m looking to take on anybody and clean up the division."
Lukasz Sajewski: “The problem is, I just had eight days’ notice so the only thing I had time to do was cut weight and so I wasn’t fully prepared. I just felt exhausted and that was the problem. I want to get back in there, keep busy and fight as often as I can but with proper preparation next time. If I can do that, then I’m pretty sure I can be back in the UFC."
UFC 204: Bisping vs Henderson 2 FIGHT PASS prelims
There was plenty of animosity in the buildup to this one and it showed from the start. The two traded shots early until a Perry uppercut sent Roberts to the ground in Round 1, leading Perry to take control for a good portion of the first five minutes both on the ground and then once Roberts got back up again. London-born Roberts made a comeback in the second round with calculated punches and leg kicks, but could not land more than one or two at a time. Roberts looked set to take the round until the last 30 seconds when Perry managed to take him to the mat and proceed with good ground-and-pound until the bell. Both had their moments with strong shots in the final round, but Roberts looked out of gas with mere seconds remaining and Perry was able to pounce with a vicious right knee and a ground attack for the late KO victory. In the final numbers, Perry out-struck Roberts by 40 strikes (117-77) to improve to 9-0, with his last two in the UFC.
It was a tentative start between the two Brazilian fighters, but action slowly picked up as both started throwing leg kicks, with Santos getting the better of the action. However, neither fighter inflicted much damage and the fight went to the judges. The decision was in favor of Santos by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29). Santos, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil season 2 winner, improves to 16-4-1 as a professional and ties the fifth-longest active UFC winning streak in the lightweight division tonight with his fourth-straight win.
They said it:
Leonardo Santos: “I feel great. This was my second fight in England so this is a good place for me to fight I think! I’m so happy. Everything I did in my camp, I did tonight so I’m very happy. In my mind, I won the first two rounds. The third round was a bit tight but I definitely felt that I won the fight."
Adriano Martins: "That’s the judges’ decision. I don’t agree with them, though. Of course, I feel like I could have done better, like I am capable of doing better but that’s all part of the game.”