There’s a saying in BJJ that when a black belt gets punched in the face once, he’s a brown belt. When he gets punched twice, he’s a purple belt. If that’s true, Diego Brandao must be some belt I haven’t heard of yet, because he got punched across the entire visible spectrum and still uncorked one of the sweetest armbars in fracture-clinic history. It was a good night for solid BJJ, and Tony Ferguson’s lovely rolling omoplata attempt was a thing to behold.
The story of the night, of course, was Michael Bisping’s destruction of Mayhem Miller. The turning point of the fight actually seemed to be Mayhem’s accidental headbutt - until it landed, Bisping looked like he might get dragged into a dry, technical battle, and definitely lost the fight’s first ground exchange. As soon as he got cracked in the eyebrow, though, he started to look affronted that Miller wasn’t already unconscious, and Aggressive Bisping - the one who normally needs to smell somebody else’s blood - came out. Miller started to look scared - I’m sure he wasn’t, I’m just projecting - and it was basically all over. For those saying that Miller’s cardio was the issue, watch that punch that Bisping does - the one where he sort of paws at your head to tee up a massive right-hander to the body as you’re against the fence, it’s such a Bisping signature move that it should be in Undisputed - again, then try to decide if you’d be breathing right after taking it in the lung. Bisping once told me that he can’t understand anyone who isn’t conditioned to throw punches for three straight rounds, and he never even slowed down. Great night for knees to the body, too, although I hate to think what would have happened if the weird headkick he threw as Miller was taunting him on the ground had landed.
What next for Bisping? Well, in an ideal world I’d be saying Sonnen/Silva soon, then Bisping/Munoz for the number one contender slot, but Silva’s injury and Henderson’s presence in the picture make that tricky. Sonnen should still be next, and if Hendo wants in - assuming you don’t just give him the shot - then him fighting Bisping would sort of make sense. It’s certainly a fight Bisping should want, and could win, assuming he circles to his right this time. Can he beat Silva? Maybe, if he lets Angry Bisping out early in the fight and doesn’t get caught. Easier said than done.
*This is something I actually shouted during the fight.