UFC Fight Night 48 in Macao held at the Cotai Arena was the UFC’s 3rd event in China, featuring a main event between Michael Bisping and Cung Le. While the card was top heavy with the main and co-main events the two most note worthy fights to watch. The undercard proved to be quite entertaining, featuring a plethora of debutantes.
This was the first time since the TUF China finale that the fighters on the show got to showcase their skills against fighters outside of the season, a total of 6 were on the card, going 2-2 (not including the TUF featherweight final). The three stars of the event are as follows:
Honorable Mentions: Alberto Mina, Colby Covington, Wang Sai
3rd Star – Yuta Sasaki
The 24 year old former Shooto champion, Yuta Sasaki made his UFC debut with some hype behind him, and on a 11-fight unbeaten streak. For the brief 66 seconds that he was in the octagon, that potential was proved against Roland Delorme.
Sasaki barely waited for the referee to signal the two fighters to engage before he ran across the cage and missed with a flying knee. He was able to showcase brief moments of striking, which landed on Delorme. Sasaki got a hold of the Canadian and in doing so he quickly transitioned to the back of Delorme and took him to the ground, applying the rear naked choke for the tap.
The future is bright for the Japanese fighter, having only suffered one loss early on in his career in 21 pro fights. The victory may have also punched Roland Delorme’s ticket out of the UFC—his third straight loss.
2nd Star – Tyron Woodley
Tyron Woodley needed only 61 seconds to bounce back from his last loss, and knockout Dong Hyun Kim to put himself back into the title picture at 170 lbs.
Kim’s reckless and now exciting style, caught up to the #10 ranked welterweight in the UFC. ‘Stungun’ threw a spinning backfist that was perfectly timed and met with a Woodley right hook, dropping the Korean to the mat and leading to the finish.
After defeating the #2 welterweight in Carlos Condit, Woodley’s momentum was at an all-time high, until he met Rory MacDonald. Woodley was not able to perform to the best of his ability in the fight against Rory at UFC 174, and suffered a short set back.
This was Woodley’s 4th UFC victory and all by knockout—after previously having just one TKO win in his first 10 bouts in Strikeforce, proving once again he has improved to more than just a wrestler and possesses dangerous power in his hands.
1st Star – Michael Bisping
Many were dubbing this as a make or break fight for Michael Bisping, that he needed to win to maintain his relevency in the UFC middleweight title picture. Well, he certainly fought like it tonight in Macao, putting on a nearly flawless performance against Cung Le.
Bisping took a moment to get going, taking a few kicks early on from Le, but once he got his rhythm, footwork, and combinations going, there was no stopping him. The biggest moment of the fight came in the 2nd round when a punch hit Cung Le in the eye causing him to back pedal.
The victory continues a streak of alternating wins and losses for Bisping, which has now allowed him to garner and momentum in the middleweight division.
Going forward it looks like a potential matchup with who Bisping calls ‘a lanky streak of piss‘, Luke Rockhold, is in his future and a victory there could put him right back in the short list of contenders for the title.