On Saturday, February 27, the UFC touched down in London to bring fight fans UFC Fight Night 84 live from the O2.

The main event marked the return of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva as he squared off against England’s own Michael Bisping.

For Silva (34-6), this marked his return from suspension after a failing an out-of-competition drug test administrated by the NSAC ahead of his UFC 183 bout against Nick Diaz.  It was later revealed, Silva also failed his post-fight drug test after testing positive for drostanolone again as well as the anti-anxiety medication Oxazepam and Temazepam.

The Brazilian entered this bout holding several UFC records including the longest win streak in UFC history (16), which included a UFC title reign that lasted a promotional record six years, eight months and 22 days, or 2,457 days.

Bisping (27-7), winner of season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter, entered this bout with the third most wins in UFC history (17), one more than Silva who had his last win overturned to a No-Contest. In his most recent fight, the brash-talking Englishman was seen extending his win streak to two straight with a unanimous decision win over Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 72.

Also appearing on the card was another middleweight bout between Leities and Gegard Mousasi, a welterweight clash between Tom Breese and Keita Nakamura as well a bantamweight fight between Brad Pick andFrancisco Rivera.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

Brad Pickett vs. Francisco Rivera

Both fighters look focused as we get ready for the action to kick off. This is definitely a do or die moment for both men at this point in their respective careers.

Round 1: The first two minutes of the fight didn’t see much action, with both fighters looking for their range. Rivera landed a couple leg kicks early, and Pickett returned one and threw a sold straight left to the body that didn’t seem to bother Rivera too much. Halfway through the round the story changed and several exchanges were made, with Rivera winning the bulk of them, even scoring a knockdown and then continuing to attack with leg kicks in between straight left-right hook combinations. The last two minutes was filled with fan friendly action, but the signs of damage started to show at Pickett slowed down drastically. 10-9 Rivera.

Round 2: This round saw the first ground work from either fighter. Pickett had some success with that left body shot, but Rivera proved the more diverse striker. A front kick to the face just grazed off of Picket, as Rivera was able to score a late takedown which Pickett easy recovered from, but the action was stopped with :10 left in the round do to a groin shot on Rivera. After recovering, there was one exchange before the bell with Pickett landing the bigger shot, but it may have been too little too late. 10-9 Rivera.

Round 3: Pickett scores an early take down, but isn’t able to advance his position or doing any significant damage as Rivera seems content waiting it out. His lack of activity off his back pays off and the referee stands them up. After Rivera is able to find his range he answers with his own take down that Picket quickly recovers from. Rivera tries to find his range again as Picket gets a big take down and ends up in side control but is unable to work a submission before the end of the bell. 10-9 Pickett, making it 29-28 River from our Corner.

Official score is 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for Brad Picket.

Tom Breese vs. Keita Nakamura

Round 1: Very little action in the first part of the round. Nakamura is able to get a body lock ant score a take down just after a minute in. While advancing his position however Breese is able to threaten with a leg lock and work an escape as both fighters square off again. Breese comes in with a one-two combo, with Nakamura counters with a hook before they end up clinched against the cage with Breese on the outside. The last part of the fight was highlighted by Breese landing many single strike attacks and Nakamura failing to return in kind. Breese throws another combo and there is a quick exchange as the round closes out. 10-9 Breese.

Round 2: This round kicks off quicker than the last, but both fighters end up in the same position as before, clinched against the cage with Nakamura working a body lock to a throw. Once on the ground Breese is more active and uses his submission attacks to advance his position into halfguard, with Nakamura now on the defensive two minutes into the round. Breese is able to smoothly transition from submission attacks to strikes. Nakamura has no answer to attack or escape from this position against Breese except to gain full guard. Breese knows he has the advantage on the ground and lands big elbows, forcing Nakamura to open his guard, and during the transition gain an omoplata attempt on Breese, which he loses but gains halfguard before the round closes out. This one will be very difficult to score as Breese spent more time on top and landed bigger shots, but Nakamura started and finished strong. Very very close 10-9 Nakamura.

Round 3: Breese finds his range early and is able to keep Nakamura on his heels, but once again he’s mostly throwing single shots. This allows Nakamura to gauge his timing and get a takedown. There’s little complaint, as we get to see high level grapping again, and Nakamura is much more comfortable and active than before. Breese attacks the legs off his back again to reverse the position, but Nakamura sweeps and gets to side control again. After doing little damage, Breese sweeps and in the scrample ends up on top with one minute left in the round. Breese gets a reverse leg traingle position to lands some shots in the last 30 seconds of the fight, as Nakamura is unable to escape or score before the bell. 10-9 Breese, making it 29-28 Breese from our Corner.

Official score is 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Tom Breese.

Thales Leites vs. Gegard Mousasi

Round 1: As expected this fight quickly turned into Mousasi wanting to keep it standing and Leites looking for a way to get it, and keep it, on the ground. As much as Leites striking has improved since his last tenure with the UFC, it is clear early on that Mousasi is on another level. Leites is switching between trying to exchange, or go for a take down and work the clinch. Leites gets the fight against the cage, which is where he needs to be in order to level the playing field, but Mousasi gets a trip but quickly abandons the position and gets the fight back to the feet for the last minute of the round. 10-9 Mousasi.

Round 2: Mousasi is landing tight, straight shots, as Leites seems content standing in front of him and swinging with wide, heavy shots. This may have worked against Boetsch, but Mousasi is too technical to let anything big land. Leites throws a leg kick, which he should be doing more of if he wants to slow Mousasi down. Mousasi must be hurting Leties with those jabs, because he wants nothing to do with them, and is giving Mousasi more range to dodge those leg kicks. ANother failed take down by Leties ends with Mousasi in top position, which they both stand up from. The round closes with Leites doing what he is best remembered for, trying to pull guard and getting kicked in the legs while on his back. 10-9 Mousasi.

Round 3: After a quick exchange, Leites finally gets Mousasi to engage with him on the ground and in his guard. Neither fighter does much from this position, with Mousasi being the only one who lands any shots. Mousasi stands up and gets the fight where he’s been best at, in the middle of the ring with Leties standing right in front, flat footed. The damage from all those jabs is starting to show even more on Leites’ face. After eating several shots unanswered, Leites throws wild and almost turns this into a dog fight, but Mousasi keeps his composure after getting hit in the exchange. Mousasi easily ends up in top position after it goes to the ground again, and is very comfortable working position and scoring with shots. Leites makes his first submission attempt of the fight, albeit a future one, as he tries to trap Mousasi’s left shoulder for an omoplata or gogoplata. 10-9 Mousasi, making it 30-27 from our Corner.

Official score is 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 for Gegard Mousasi.

Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva

Round 1: Both fighter showing a lot of respect for each other early on. Not too many exchanges, just a lot of timing, distance and range finding. Bisping has some success with his jab, but is unable to capitalize. Silva throws an oblique kick that lands. The overall vibe is that Silva is waiting for Bisping to make a mistake, and Bipsing is being smart and cautious. With two minutes left we see Silva start to attack and put Bisping on his heels and against the cage for a moment. Bisping stands his ground and works it back to the middle of the canvas. With a minute left we start to see some of Silva’s classic movement and taunting, and almost knocking down Bisping. The end of the round does not disappoint as both guys throw heavy, and Bisping lands a big shot of his own. There is more taunting after the bell with a shove by Bisping.

Round 2: Bisping is more comfortable in this round coming out, being aggressive and trying not to fall for Anderson’s taunts. Silva stands straight up against the cage, trying to bait Bisping, who keeps his cool and wants nothing to do with it. There seemed to be a possible eye poke, but both fighters show sportsmanship and keep it going. This fight is really a matter of who has more patience with their gameplan. There are a couple exchanges that end with Silva landing a reverse elbow, reminiscent of his Tony Frykland fight almost 10 years ago. Bisping is having success with leg kicks, and Anderson has not been able to land big yet this round. Bisping rocks Silva and then scores a kockdown, but eats an upkick on the way in to go for a ground and pound finish, but he can’t pull it off before the bell. 10-9 Bisping.

Round 3: Silva switches stances a couple times, possible due to the leg kicks from earlier. Bisping again looking fo mix in leg kicks with his one-two combos. He clips Silva with a left counter as The Spider goes low for a left of his own. That straight-right The Count is throwing seems to be doing the most damage. Silva starts to move forward a little more than before, but backs away when Bisping throws. Silva catches a leg and gets a trip, and throws a headkick after Bisping stands up. Bisping winds up to mimick Silva, but gets hit by a right hook. They then mock each other, and Bisping lands an uppercut and a double jab before eating another head kick. Silva gets Bisping backed to the cage in the closing minute, and they exchange heavy at the close before confusion results in an almost knockout with a knee at the bell. 10-9 Silva. 

Round 4: Bisping is wobbly at the start of the fourth. Due to the confusion and the ringside officials, BIsping was unable to see a cutman. Bisping is sticking to his gameplan, and landing with the right, albeit a little less smooth. He eats a low blow during an exchange. The replay shows a solid kick to the cup, and Bisping takes a moment to recover. He looks fresher than he did at the start of the round, and gets Silva against the cage eating shots. It’s hard to tell is Silva is playing or pretending, but you can tell he’s lost a step as well and the damage from Bisping’s one-two is starting to show. Bisping lands again with his signature combo, but starts mixing in body shots. This is the same position Bisping had Cung Le in as he mixes more kick into his combos. Bisping is bleeding more, but Silva is getting hit more. An eye poke pauses the action for a moment, and Bisping takes several deep breaths. The action resumes with just over 90 seconds on the clock, it is a mirror of what we’ve seen all night. Bisping staying technical and patient, and landing heavy combos on Silva against the cage. This time though ANderson starts to come forward and puts Bisping against the cage, and again tries for that elbow. Bisping tries to circle away, but ends up getting hit with a superman punch at the bell. 10-9 Silva. 

Round 5: Silva opens up with a headkick that gets blocked. Anderson is the aggressor in this final round, but BIsping is unphased. Herb Dean calls a pause to have The Count checked out by the doctor, as he is bleeding all over the canvas. The fight continues. Silva  in southpaw stance starting to land a straight left, but BIsping finds his range again and puts Silva to the cage before landing a front kick that hurts Bisping. He puts Bisping on his heels and to the cage where he seems to start landing freely. Silva brings it back to the center, but Bisping is on shaky ground. Bisping starts to land with leg kicks again, which helps him regain some octagon control and go for a take down. Silva shuts it down, but is starting to move slower than before. There is little action in the last minute as Bisping tries to engage but Silva stays on the outside. 10-9 Silva.

Official score is 48-47, 48-47, 48-47 for Michael Bisping.

 

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD

Michael Bisping defeats Anderson Silva via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Gegard Mousasi defeats Thales Leites via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Tom Breese defeats Keita Nakamura via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Brad Pickett defeats Francisco Rivera via Split-Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD

Makwan Amirkhani defeats Mike Wilkinson via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Davey Grant defeats Marlon Vera via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Scott Askham defeats Chris Dempsey via knockout (head kick) at 4:45 of Round 1
Arnold Allen defeats Yaotzin Meza via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Krzysztof Jotko defeats Brad Scott via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rustam Khabilov defeats Norman Parke via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Daniel Omielanczuk defeats Jarjis Danho via Majority Technical Decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)*
Thibault Gouti defeats Teemu Packalen via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:24 of Round 1
David Teymur defeats Martin Svensson via TKO (punch) at 1:26 of Round 2

 

*Fight stopped in Round 3 due to a groin strike which rendered Danho unable to continue