London, England — HeavyMMA.com is reporting live at “UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama” at the O2 Arena in London.
We’ll be bringing you live results from the show, which means you’ll want to avoid this post if you’re looking to stay away from spoilers for the event.
The sold-out event is headlined by a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama. Bisping’s fellow countryman Dan Hardy takes on Carlos Condit in a heated grudge match in the co-main event.
Our live coverage of UFC 120′s preliminary card from correspondent Iain Liddle will begin at approximately 12:20 p.m. ET. The televised card will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Fabio Maldonado d. James McSweeney (TKO, Round 3)
Members of the press were late in being allowed into the building, so the majority of us missed this fight. Maldonado defeated a tired McSweeney in the third round.
Spencer Fisher vs. Kurt Warburton
Round 1: The two men exchange leg kicks at the start of the round, with Warburton getting the better of them. The Brit takes Fisher to the ground and applies some pressure from the top, before attempting a guillotine, which gets the home crowd excited, but doesn’t look that close to finishing. 10-9 Warburton.
Round 2: Exciting round as Fisher comes out noticeably more aggressive, throwing straight punches. Warburton attempts to neuter this by using his superior physical strength and holding the American against the cage. Fisher tries throwing sharp elbows as they exchange positions, before Warburton rolls into an attempted leg lock. Fisher stays composed and maintains top position, while Warburton eats some punches on the punches on the bottom. After taking some punishment, with Fisher now standing over his guard, he tries to roll into another submission and the round ends with both men attempting toeholds on each other. 10-9 Fisher.
Round 3: Fisher now the more confident of the two fighters and comes out aggressively again. He lands some good punches when Warburton’s back is up against the cage, before the American throws his hands up as if to goad the Brit. Fisher continues to land more shots, before blocking Warburton’s takedown attempts.Fisher then switches the fight to the floor, ends up on top and throws some more ground and pound before attempting a rear naked choke of his own. The American is clearly in control now and sees out the round. 10-9 Fisher on my scorecard. Spencer Fisher d. Kurt Warburton via unanimous decision
Paul Sass vs. Mark Holst
Round 1: Paul Sass, known for his triangle chokes, lives up to his reputation and attempts one as early as possible in the fight after pulling guard. Back on the feet, there’s a jumping knee by Sass, who then shoots in for a takedown before pulling guard again and looking to work from his back. Active guard from Sass who tries to prevent his opponent standing up with omo plata attempts and leg sweeps. The Liverpool fighter then attempts a heel hook as he works through his whole repertoire of submissions, which looks dangerous, but Holst escapes again. Briefly back on the feet, Holst lands a solid punch and kick to Sass’ chest, but the Liverpool-based Brit successfully gets the fight back to the ground. Maintaining a high guard, Sass works for another triangle and finally locks it in. It appears to be a combination of a triangle and an armbar, but Holst taps out with 15 seconds left in the first round. Very impressive UFC debut for Sass, who will have caught the attention of many with his flashy ground game. Expect this to be shown on the broadcast if there is time. Paul Sass by submission (triangle choke) at 4.45 in the first round
Rob Broughton vs. Vinicius Quieroz
Round 1: Straight right by VQ in the opening seconds hurts Broughton, who then eats a combination of punches, followed by a stiff leg kick. Shell-shocked, Broughton attempts to take the flight to the floor, but his takedown is blocked. Despite his success on the feet, Queiroz switches things up by taking the fight to the floor and unloading with powerful, ground and pound combinations to the head. Queiroz stays on top before jumping on Broughton’s back when he attempts to get up. After some more ground and pound, Broughton makes his way to his feet and shows the durability he is known for landing a series of uppercuts which, with 90 seconds left, are his first main offense in the fight so far. Queiroz ends the round with another takedown, but appears to be tiring slightly having thrown everything with so much power early on, and Broughton is able to land some solid shots from his back. The English fighter is the more visibly marked at the end of the round, but showed signs of getting back into the contest after a nightmare opening. 10-9 Queiroz.
Round 2: Completely different fight at the start of the second as Broughton cones out swinging, tagging the Brazilian early on. Queiroz then tries to take his back standing up, but the British heavyweight throws him off with disdain and asks for another exchange on the feet. After an even exchange, the clearly tiring Queiroz takes the fight to the floor again for a respite and, after 30 seconds or so of inactivity, referee Marc Goddard stands them up. This hands the initiative to Broughton again who connects with a series of left jabs and left hooks, as Queiroz barely has he energy to keep his hands up. Another Queiroz takedown is quickly stood up, allowing Broughton land again with the left, before the Brazilian ends the round on top after another tripped takedown. 10-9 Broughton, who looks the only winner of the fight at this stage.
Round 3: Huge right hand from Broughton is followed by a stiff leg kick from Queiroz to start the round. The Brazilian attempts another takedown, but Broughton blocks it for the first time in the fight and, after attempting a uillotine choke, over-powers his opponent to end up on top and throwing punches. Following some ground and pound, Broughton uses a kimura attempt to transition to back control before submitting Queiroz with a rear naked choke! Superb come from behind victory for the English heavyweight, who took a lot of punishment in the early stages. Queiroz possibly threw too much, too heavily early on as he gassed noticeably in the second round, but his lack of defensive acumen standing up also hurt him. Exciting fight. Rob Broughton d. Vinicius Quieroz by submission, round 3
Cyrille Diabate vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Round 1: Accidental low blow from Gustafsson early, but Diabate shakes it off. After a series of exchanges at range, the Swede closes the distance and lands a good right hand, before a left knocks Diabate down to one knee. Gustafsson takes advantage by jumping on top, but the Frenchman neutralises him in half guard before getting back to his feet having suffered little extra damage. Diabate still seems a little stunned from the first punch which dropped him and, after fighting off a takedown attempt against the cage, he hits the mat again as Gustafsson lands a sharp uppercut at the end of a combination. With 90 seconds left in the round, Diabate backs up the Swede with a combination, but his opponents wears it well before dropping to a takedown and doing some more damage from the top with his long reach. Round ends with Gustafsson on top. There will be some calls to make that a 10-8 round, but personally I’d score it a 10-9 to Gustafsson.
Round 2: Gustafsson starts the second round by closing the distance again, but this time slamming Diabate to the mat and attempting to carry on where he finished the first round. The Frenchman is struggling to escape the position and seemingly deliberately offers the Swede an arm, before switching position when a kimura is attempted. Gustafsson then takes full mount, before switching to back control and unleashing some vicious ground and pound to Diabate. Referee Leon Roberts yells at the Frenchman, who is now bleeding, to fight back, but Gustafsson continues to land punches unanswered, before switching to a rear naked choke and forcing an immediate tap. Diabate stays down for a while to receive treatment, but eventually stands and manages to talk back to the dressing rooms. Alexander Gustafsson d. Cyrille Diabate via submission, round 2
James Wilks vs. Claude Patrick
Round 1: Both men come out in an orthodox stance. Patrick is the first to close the distance, pushing Wilks up against the cage before transitioning them both to the floor, with the Canadian on top. Wilks attempts a triangle, but Patrick postures out of it, before going back into the Englishman’s guard. Limited action on the ground, before Patrick literally stands up out of guard and walks round to side control, before slickly moving to full mount. The Canadian shows far superior speed in his movements on the ground, and changes position constantly, before cherry picking moments to throws short, straight punches and elbows. Wilks seems content to stay on his back and work, having taken little damage so far, but Patrick remains in control and regains full mount just before the final bell. 10-9 Patrick, as Wilks was out-grappled and cut by what appeared to be an elbow.
Round 2: Wilks seems a bit more eager to keep his distance this round and starts with a push kick, but Patrick closes in and grabs him against the cage. The two exchange underhooks and positions against the mesh, before Patrick lands his best shot of the fight with a straight left, before executing a trip takedown.
Back where he wants the fight, the Canadian’s main aim appears to be holding on to a superior position and again offers little in the way of ground and pound or submission attempts. The crowd are not too keen on the fight and urge the official to stand them up, as the round ends with Patrick on top and chorus of boos.
10-9 Patrick. Similar story to the first round.
Round 3: With his only chance of victory now coming via a stoppage, Wilks surprisingly initiates a clinch at the start of third, which Patrick quickly uses to take the fight to the ground. Wilks attempts some offence with upkicks, but Patrick is easily in control of the bout and comfortably able to hold position when on top on the floor. The crowd don’t especially like it, but Wilks is able to offer little from his back and Patrick comfortably sits in his guard on his way to seeing out a decision. As the fight enters the last 30 seconds, Wilks throws his hips up but again cannot offer anything offensively as Patrick throws some elbows to add an exclamation point to his victory. 10-9 Patrick. Disciplined performance from the Canadian, who won every aspect of the fight, but he won’t leave London having made many new fans. Claude Patrick defeats James Wilks by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards).
Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne
Round 1: The undefeated Browne comes out swinging, but Kongo lands the first good shot with a quick left counter. Strong leg kicks from the Frenchman as Browne is aggressive, but most of his striking attempts are missing their target. A “Let’s go Kongo” chant begins around the building, but when the Frenchman abandons his strategy of countering and goes on the offensive, it is a cue for Browne to land his best punch so far and send him backwards. The California native is throwing the more consistently powerful punches, including a hard straight body shot, but neither having outright success. Kongo lands a straight right as the round finishes, but 10-9 Browne on my scorecard.
Round 2: Kongo begins the second round more aggressively with inside and outside leg kicks, before a straight right finds its target. A knee from the Frenchman then lands below the belt line, but thankfully for the stricken Browne the follow up right hand just misses. Kongo backs his opponent up with straight punches which pierce the American’s guard. The European then holds him against the cage, throwing short knees, but referee Marc Goddard is quick to break them up – perhaps a little prematurely – under pressure from the crowd. It matters not though as Kongo regains his dominant position against the cage. Browne finally switches position and puts Kongo against the fence, but Goddard again steps in to separate them. The round ends with Browne earning a takedown, but it is Kongo’s round. 10-9 and evenly poised going into the final stanza.
Round 3: Browne pushes Kongo against the fence to start the round, but Goddard again breaks them up and docks the Frenchman a point for persistently grabbing his opponent’s shorts. Bizarrely, given it was a foul by Kongo, he then restarts them in the middle of the cage as opposed to where Browne had the advantage against the cage. In itself, the point deduction seemed harsh, but Kongo is grateful for the repositioning and it is now his turn to hold his opponent against the cage and throw knees again. Once again, Goddard breaks them up and the rapidly tiring Browne is forced to defend fiercely-swung punches with his back against the cage. With 45 seconds to go, Browne throws a big right hand but Kongo used the forward momentum to hold him against the cage. The round ends with Browne takin the Frenchman down. I score it 9-9, given the deduction and so have it as a 28-28 draw overall. The last round was inconclusive though and could go either way. All three judges score it 28-28 and so we have a draw.
John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
Round 1: Hathaway comes out with his hands held high. Pyle is the first to try and take the fight to the ground, successfully rushing in and tripping Hathaway, but he manages to wall-walk back to his feet and switch positions. Back standing, Hathaway lands an uppercut, which is countered by a knee, but both remain quite tentative on their feet. Pyle then lands the best punch of the fight, which hurts the Brit, before connecting with a smooth in-line elbow when backed up against the cage. A straight jab from the American snaps Hathaway’s head backwards. A Pyle takedown is initially blocked, but he follows up with a knee before powerfully throwing the Brighton native to the ground. 10-9 Pyle.
Round 2: Pyle shows good boxing skills by skilfully dodging punches with head movement and then countering while backing up. Some takedown attempts from Pyle are negated, but the American is always the quicker to throw a strike when the pair separate. A flush shot from Hathaway ignites the crowd, but Pyle then quickly takes the fight to the ground on a second attempt when back in open space. On the floor, the American holds onto a upside down triangle choke position and spends the final two minutes relentlessly punching and elbowing the prone face of Hathaway. The Brit walks back to his corner marked up, although Pyle seems to be breathing more heavily at the end of the second. 10-9 Pyle.
Round 3: Hathaway begins round three with his most effective spell, trying for a takedown before following a sharp straight right. However, Pyle uses his experience to then push him against the cage before tripping him down to the floor. With the American in his guard, Hathaway throws elbows from the bottom, but is unable to shift Pyle – who then switches to half guard. Having regained full guard, Hathaway has little to counter the smothering top game and only eats more elbows when attempting to wall-walk up the cage again. Pyle sees out the round on top and casts aside the challenge of the English upstart with surprising ease. 10-9 Pyle. Mike Pyle d. John Hathaway by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Carlos Condit vs. Dan Hardy
Round 1: Huge reaction for Hardy as he walks to the ring. Interestingly, another British fighter – Tom ‘Kong’ Watson is in the corner of Carlos Condit. Loud chants for the Brit at the start of the round and he lands the first good strike with a firm leg kick. After a feeling out process, a left from Hardy catches the chin of Condit, but the New Mexico native surprises everyone with a rapid spinning back fist. Growing in confidence, Condit then connects with a sharp right-left combination. Hardy then begins to enjoy success with the counter left hook, catching the American twice and sending him back. However, out of nowhere, both men throw hooks at the same time, but Condit’s hits first and Hardy immediately drops like a house of cards. The American quickly pounces and after a couple of swift punches the referee steps in and calls a halt to proceedings. The English crowd is hugely dejected as a result of that. Carlos Condit d. Dan Hardy by KO (round 1, 4:27)
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Round One: Akiyama opens with two big right which have Bisping scrambling, but he wears them well and regains his composure quickly. Akiyama is quicker to the draw through two good left counters land soon after. Sensing the disadvantage on the feet, Bisping attempts a takedown and then lands with a kick on the break, but stays cool under pressure. The Brit becomes busier as the round goes on and lands a pair of nice one-two combinations in a row. Akiyama slows as the round goes on, but it appears more as though he is making a conscious effort to conserve energy rather than a sign of tiredness. As his work rate drops though, Bisping’s increases and he finishes the round by landing with punches and kicks. Hard round to score. I’d edge towards 10-9 Akiyama, but it could go either way.
Round Two: Again, Akiyama begins the round with a powerful right hand, which lands, but Bisping responds positively and throws quick combinations of his own. After an accidental eye poke, Bisping begins to take over with feint lefts followed by straight rights. A takedown attempt is easily blocked by Akiyama, but Wolfslair fighter continues to have success with the low left inside leg kick and his straight hand. I wonder slightly if Akiyama has picked up an injury, as his work rate has definitely dropped, but he then finishes the round with intent. It is Bisping’s turn to wear a succession of right hands, but he manages to escape from too much damage with quick, scrambling footwork. 10-9 Bisping.
Round Three: A flurry of punches from both men to start the round, but Bisping ends his with a left high kick which visibly shakes Akiyama. Buoyed by the success, the Brit becomes more adventurous with the delivery of his strikes and begins to build momentum, until a blatant low blow halts the action. Akiyama appears in serious pain and stays on his back for a few minutes, before awkwardly climbing the cage to get back to his feet. Even once standing, and after an apologetic hug from Bisping, Akiyama is still wincing and looks far from recovered when he resumes fighting. However, if anything, he seems re-invigorated by the break and sets about Bisping with intent after the restart. Now it is the Brit’s turn to back-peddle, but once again he is able to land his straight right hand at will. Bisping begins to take over again as the fight enters the last 90 seconds and lands a number of eye-catching and point-scoring combinations in a row. Akiyama goes for broke in the final 15 seconds, but that should be Bisping’s round and decision after an entertaining main event. 10-9 Bisping. Michael Bisping d. Yoshihiro Akiyama by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)