10 Things We Learned From UFC 120

1. Bisping Shines, but Questions Remain

The hometown favorite sent the fans home happy at the end of the night by dominating Yoshihiro Akiyama over the majority of their fifteen minute fight, taking home a 30-27 sweep on the scorecards to push his record to 20-3 overall.

Bisping was the same sharp fighter we’ve seen in nine of his ten UFC victories, a technically-sound striker who delivers punching in large numbers and does a good job of avoiding danger. As much as being a consistent performer is something positive, there is also a problematic side that presents itself moving forward.

All three of Bisping’s losses have come when he’s been in a position ascend to the next level of the middleweight division, and he’s on the cusp of that move once again. The former TUF winner is clearly a cut above the middle tier of talent in the 185-pound division, but without a victory at the next level, Bisping will remain a good but not great fighter.

2. Akiyama is Nothing More than Average at 185

You can’t look at Yoshihiro Akiyama as a potential contender anymore. That point was driven home Saturday night in England, as the Japanese judoka fell to 1-2 in the UFC, losing to Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 120.

Through three fights, some would argue that Akiyama should still be winless, as his debut split decision win over Alan Belcher was razor-thin. Regardless of how you scored that bout, the truth is that Akiyama is closer to being a middle-of-the-pack middleweight than he is a contender, and no amount of sexiness can change that.

The positive is that Akiyama is an entertaining fighter; each of his bouts have been solid affairs that went the distance, giving fans a good show for their money. Unfortunately, winning is always important, and Akiyama just doesn’t seem to be able to compete. Many have suggested a drop to welterweight, which would certainly better suit his frame, but it might just be a matter of Akiyama not having what it takes to hang with the high-end talent in the UFC.

Carlos Condit in UFC 120

3. Carlos Condit Arrives

A lot was expected of Carlos Condit when he joined the UFC as the last welterweight champion in WEC history. A narrow split decision loss to Martin Kampmann in his debut had people second-guessing themselves, and while a pair of wins followed, there were still some who were unconvinced of Condit’s potential as a contender.

Those doubts got smashed Saturday night in London, as Condit knocked out Dan Hardy in the final minute of the first round, proving he belongs with the best of the welterweight division.

Condit was quicker to the punch than Hardy, literally, as his left connected flush as Hardy landed a split second later before falling to the floor. The New Mexico native has now won three-straight and appears to be rounding into the form that had him finishing fighters early and often during his WEC days. He’s a long-and-lean athlete with a diverse offensive attack, which will make Condit a headache for whoever he faces next.