The Severe Diagnosis – UFC Scotland

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For the first time ever, this Saturday night, the UFC’s Octagon traveled to Glasgow, Scotland for a fun fight night event with plenty of local interest.

In the main event of the evening it was a meeting of striker vs. grappler as England’s Michael Bisping took on Brazilian Thales Leites in a back-and-forth five rounder. Right from the off Bisping was light on his feet and jabbing from the outside while Leites threw hard with leg kicks – one of which struck the Brit right in the family jewels early. Bisping, though, wasn’t perturbed and and landed at will as Leites struggled to get his hands going. A right hand from Bisping connected in the middle of the round and he added a beautiful kick to the jaw straight after. Leites then tried to push him against the fence but he couldn’t hold him there as Bisping landed another high kick on the break. Leites, though, came into it gradually and scored with two overhand rights either side of a hard Bisping leg kick. With a minute left in the period the first takedown attempt came from Leites but Bisping did well to scramble to the top before Leites ended up on his back inside the last few seconds.

Bisping looked more nervous of the takedown in the second which led to Leites landing a big right hook which briefly stunned the Manchester man. After that Bisping upped the output although Leites had the centre of the cage and was landing the bigger shots. Another right hook had Bisping backing up again but a big body kick from Brit got him going. As the round progressed, Leites began to whip in some more leg kicks which noticeably curtailed the movement of Bisping. Entering the last minute of the round, though, it was Bisping who landed the big left hook before another couple of low kicks from Leites were very effective.

The corner of Bisping seemed happy between rounds but that changed quickly as Leites hurt him badly with four huge shots against the fence. Leites didn’t take full advantage of it, though, and Bisping was given time to recover before his jab and leg kicks came back. A right hand from Bisping then had Leites backing up before he landed a lovely combination to put himself right back in it. Midway through the round Leites landed another right hand which Bisping countered with a spinning back kick while a rare third round hard leg kick from Leites had a clear effect on Bisping before the Brazilian briefly got a takedown which Bisping immediately escaped from. A huge uppercut from Leites against the fence might have been the biggest shot of the round but Bisping survived until the end.

As the fourth started both men came out swinging but it was Leites who got the better of the wild exchange. A low kick from Leites was then on point as the left quad of the Britain looked extremely reddened. Bisping, though, didn’t take a backward step and continued to jab and leg kick himself. From those jabs, Leites began to time his shots and countered Bisping at will throughout the period. Late in the round both men looked understandably tired and the fire in their shots just wasn’t there as another hard round to score came to an end.

The last round, after four close ones, was all important and it was Leites who took the centre of the cage from the start. It was Bisping, though, who landed the better shots as he countered well with his jab and right hook off the back foot. A nice Bisping head kick landed after that but Leites had an uppercut hit the Brit straight on the chin immediately after. The Brazilian attacked hard when that shot landed and he hit Bisping with a couple more but they didn’t seem to hurt him too much as he answered back well with strikes of his own. A smashing couple of combination from a fresh Bisping in the last 90 seconds of the round were heartbreaking for Leites who chased his man down after that but just couldn’t catch him.

It was always going to be a close decision between the power of Leites and the precision of Bisping but, in the end, the judges scored it favourably for the precision as Michael Bisping took the split decision win.

The biggest fight on the card outside of that, especially for Irish fans, was the sophomore appearance of Donegal’s Joseph Duffy as he took on dangerous Brazilian submission artist Ivan “Batman” Jorge. After a friendly reception from the Scottish fans, it was straight down to work for Duffy who came out in his usual boxing style, jabbing and hooking with superb movement. An early high kick followed by two uppercuts were also on the mark for Duffy before Jorge managed to push him to the fence for a period of control. Duffy quickly escaped, though, and made Jorge pay with a rib crushing body kick. Wisely, Jorge clinched up again and landed a couple of knees from there but, after escaping again, Duffy landed a pretty uppercut which seemed to stun Batman.

Jorge clearly recognized the advantage Duffy had in the striking and decided to take it to the floor – which he did with a big body lock and throw. But by the time it hit the floor, though, Duffy was already attacking hard from the bottom and had Jorge tied up with his legs. Initially, it looked like the triangle was on for Duffy but as he adjusted to an armbar, Jorge looked to be safe and settled. But that wasn’t for long as Duffy expertly switched up his position and went back to the triangle which, this time, was in properly and forced Jorge to tap out – still inside the first round. For Duffy this was a superb win in his second Octagon outing and with UFC Dublin coming up, he is sure to feature.

Then, topping the preliminary card off was the inimitable SBG flyweight Paddy Holohan who took on veteran Englishman Vaughan Lee in a fairly enjoyable scrap. It was Holohan who took the centre of the Octagon immediately from the bell and attacked with body seeking kicks before a takedown attempt soon after from the Dub saw him end up on the bottom. Lee was happy to work in Holohan’s guard and landed a couple of strikes before a Holohan armbar try was off base. From there, though, “The Hooligan” transitioned to a triangle and attacked the head of Lee who didn’t look too troubled by the submission at any stage. As the round progressed, Holohan kept the triangle locked in and the strikes going before a couple of Lee hammerfists and a Holohan move to mount left room for Lee to escape. As the seconds ticked down Lee moved to Holohan’s back but couldn’t finish the rear-naked choke.

Holohan came out strong again in the second and immediately pushed Lee against the cage for the takedown. Again, though, Lee ended up on top and after a few scrambles got to the mount. Holohan, though, was able to brilliantly scramble out and worked on a heel hook before gettin on top of Lee. From the half guard Holohan moved into side control and back to half guard as he dominated, the mostly inefficient, Lee. After a bit of ground and pound Holohan went back into Lee’s guard momentarily but a transition to the north-south position gave Holohan more opportunities to score late in the period. Holohan wasn’t satisfied to ride it out there, though, and almost had the armbar at round’s end.

It was Lee who came on swinging hard to start the third but he missed with a couple of big overhands before a kick to the groin from Holohan gave both men another break. From the restart Holohan pushed the pace and landed two nice shots before Lee countered with one of his own. Another Holohan combination was accurate after that while the kicks of the Irishman were consistently thrown as a pretty low rate of output from Lee continued. To his credit, the Englishman did have some success midway through the round with a left hand to the head and body but apart from that it was all Holohan with straight, spinning and flying attacks hitting their target. With a minute left on the clock Lee landed a couple of nice straight left hands but it wasn’t enough as Holohan got a late takedown to seal the 30-27 win from all three judges.

Opening the show for the Irish fighters on the night was Team Ryano stalwart Paul “Redser” Redmond in his second UFC fight as he took on hometown favourite Robert Whiteford to open the preliminary portion of the evening.

After a raucous walkout for Whiteford it was straight down to business inside the Octagon as they traded in the centre from the off. A couple of hooks were exchanged from the start but a right hand from Whiteford, which dropped Redmond, was the biggest shot of the opening moments. Judo specialist Whiteford then attempted the hip toss but it was defended well by Redmond who stayed on his feet and stsubsequently took the centre of the cage and began to get the better of the striking – although it wouldn’t last long.

With Whiteford backing up constantly, midway through the round, Redmond looked to be dominating as he got his striking popping but the Scot was playing the waiting game and, as Redmond came in with a right hand, Whiteford slipped and landed a huge left hook which put the Team Ryano man down. Redmond was clearly hurt and when Whiteford dived down with more shots it only took a couple for referee Marc Goddard to step in and correctly stop the fight. For Whiteford it was his best win in the UFC to date while for Redmond it was another tough loss after also losing his UFC debut.

https://twitter.com/RedserMma/status/622480196839559168

FULL RESULTS

Michael Bisping def. Thales Leites via split decision (47-48, 49-46, 48-47)
Evan Dunham def. Ross Pearson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Joseph Duffy def. Ivan Jorge via submission (triangle) – Round 1, 3:05
Joanne Calderwood def. Cortney Casey via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Leon Edwards def. Pawel Pawlak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Stevie Ray def. Leonardo Mafra via TKO – Round 1, 2:30

Paddy Holohan def. Vaughan Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ilir Latifi def. Hans Stringer via knockout – Round 1, 0:56
Mickael Lebout def. Teemu Packalen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Robert Whiteford def. Paul Redmond via TKO – Round 1, 3:04

Jimmie Rivera def. Marcus Brimage via TKO – Round 1, 1:29
Daniel Omielanczuk def. Chris de la Rocha via TKO – Round 1, 0:48

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma