UFC 78: Evans Decisions Bisping

By Jim Barlieb and Eric Disanto


UFC 78: Evans Decisions Bisping

Silva Smashes Alexander

The main event of the UFC 78 from New Jersey had Michael Bisping of London facing Rashad Evans in a match-up of former Ultimate Fighter (reality show) winners, both of whom came in undefeated.  In the first round, Evans won the round with multiple take downs but was unable to do much damage. At this point the British contingent of the crowd seemed to come alive and began chanting “U.K., U.K., U.K.”, which was returned by the pro-Evans side with chants of “U.S., U.S. U.S.”  This created a great atmosphere in the brand new Prudential Center in Newark.  In the second round, Evans again slammed Bisping down but was unable to do much damage, which prompted the referee to stand the two combatants up.  On their feet, Bisping was able to land more effective shots and he secured a take down at the end of the round.  Bisping seemed to win a very close second round.  The third round was another tightly contested battle. The fighters traded shots on their feet that Evans seemed to get the better of and then he was able to take down the taller Bisping, nearly gaining his back toward the end of the round.  Evans was able to secure a split decision five-round victory, which didn’t please the large number of Bisping fans who took the flight over to New Jersey.

New Jersey’s Frank Edgar took on Spencer Fisher and it was obvious from the outset that Edgar was fighting in his home state as the crowd was going wild for him.  Edgar took Fisher down seemingly at will through out the entire three-round fight and used some solid ground and pound to control his opponent.  Edgar briefly gained Fisher’s back but was unable to submit him before the fight went to the cards.  Thus, Edgar cruised to a relatively easy three round unanimous decision victory that pleased the Jersey natives.

In what might have been the most exciting fight of the night Ed Herman took on Joe Doerkson.  Herman proved his wrestling skills by gaining some take downs early and using some effective ground and pound tactics.  He was also able to open a cut over Doerkson’s left eye, which also helped his cause.  Herman was dominating the second round as well both on his feet and by controlling the ground until Doerkson took Herman’s back.  He almost secured a knee bar and then successfully locked in a triangle choke but was unable to get Herman to submit before the bell.  In the third round Herman caught Doerkson with a hard left, which floored his opponent.  He followed this with several strikes on the ground and that was it for Doerkson. 

Karo Parisyan took on Ryo Chonan in another match-up between a former Pride fighter and UFC veteran.  The first two rounds of this fight were marked by Parisyan, the UFC vet, taking down Chonan and pounding him.  The third round was much closer with Chonan able to stay on his feet and box with Parisyan.  In the end though, the decision was unanimous in favor of Parisyan in a match that was not as exciting as most of his other fights. A chorus of boos reigned down from the rafters. 

In what many deemed the most anticipated match up the undefeated Thiago Silva took on the hard hitting Houston Alexander who had knocked out his two previous opponents in the octagon.  Alexander quickly scooped up Silva and slammed him hard to the canvas, which pleased the now lively crowd.  But unfortunately for Alexander this momentum was short lived as Silva was able to get to his feet and secure Alexander’s feet and take him down.  Silva quickly gained the full mount on his opponent and began raining down bombs until the referee had to step in and stop the beating.  Alexander’s suspect ground game was exposed and Silva had downed another opponent in his rise toward a possible light heavyweight title shot in the near future. 

In the end it was a very exciting night of fights.  Frank Edgar was able to please his New Jersey fans and prove he is a true contender and the crowded light heavyweight picture was cleared up a bit with Silva and Evans’ victories. 

UFC President Dana White confirmed that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against the PRIDE 183-lb. champion Dan Henderson on March 1, 2008, the probable date of UFC 82 in the post fight press conference. 

Preliminary Results:
170 lbs: Akihiro Gono def. Tamdan McCrory via sub (armbar) - R2 (3:19)
155 lbs: Marcus Aurelio def. Luke Caudillo via TKO (strikes) - R1 (4:29)
155 lbs: Joe Lauzon def. Jason Reinhardt via subn (rear naked choke) - R1 (1:14)
170 lbs: Thiago Alves def. Chris Lytle via TKO (cut) - 2 rounds