Morning Report: Michael Bisping: Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland ‘might have been the best fight we’ve ever seen’

MMA Fighting

Michael Bisping was in awe during the UFC Orlando main event this past weekend.

After both suffering setbacks against some of the welterweight division’s best grapplers in their previous outings, Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland were ready to put on a show for the fans. Battling back and forth for four full rounds until Holland’s damage sustained was too much, Fight of the Night honors were handed out and Bisping couldn’t agree more with the selection as he witnessed the action firsthand.

“Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Kevin Holland might have been the best fight that we’ve ever seen inside the UFC octagon,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “I know, that’s big talk. You’re crazy, Bisping. We’ve had a lot of good fights and maybe it’s recency bias, but in Orlando, Fla., Saturday night in front of a sold-out house, the crowd was epic. That fight was ridiculous, okay? Absolutely ridiculous.

“The techniques that we saw from Stephen Thompson, the showmanship and the gameness and toughness that we saw from Kevin Holland, and the excitement back-and-forth. I mean, come on. It doesn’t really get much better than that.”

Thompson was in peak form with his karate-based striking on the night. Outside of an early shot from Holland in round one that rocked the two-time title challenger, “Wonderboy” was firmly in control of the action, landing a plethora of impactful kicks in every round.

Heading into the bout, both fighters made it abundantly clear that they were looking for exciting opponents going forward in their careers and wanted nothing to do with grappling. That showed on numerous occasions whenever there was either a lockup against the cage or a moment finding themselves on the mat.

“Both guys kind of agreed, it was kind of an unwritten rule, we shook hands, they said we’re not going to take each other down, and that was awesome,” Bisping said.

“For these two, coming into this one, agreeing that they were going to fight, my god. Absolutely sensational stuff and they stayed true to that. ‘Wonderboy’ showed all of his skills. The kicks, the spinning hook kicks, the striking, the punching charges, were just unbelievable. But Kevin Holland landed a lot of huge shots as well.”

Despite his complimentary nature, Bisping’s commentary received some flack from the community. As the fight progressed, Holland visibly began dealing with an injury to his right hand, leading to his demise via doctor stoppage between rounds four and five.

During the brief grappling engagements, Holland more often than not found himself in advantageous positions, which Bisping believes “Trailblazer” should have gone back to more. No matter how exciting one may want to be, winning is the name of the game after all.

“It wasn’t a criticism, I was critiquing the performance,” Bisping clarified. “Because as analysts, as commentators, that’s what we have to do. Granted, at that moment in time when the fight was happening, it was sensational. I even said this might have been one of the greatest fights I’ve ever witnessed. As I say, maybe a little recency bias, but you can’t deny that fight was sensational.

“So you kind of had some people scratching their heads after the fact that I said Kevin Holland should have gone for takedowns. And he should have. Because yes, as a fan, sensational, and this is certainly not a criticism of Kevin Holland. No way, that fight was amazing, but when it’s done, it’s our jobs as analysts to sit down and say what could have went different?”


Farewell. T.J. Dillashaw notifies UFC of retirement following latest shoulder surgery

Champs. Zhang Weili anticipates future fight with Valentina Shevchenko, guarantees it will be ‘a banger’

Wonderboy. Stephen Thompson on UFC Orlando performance: ‘I wanted to prove to everybody that I’m still in this game

Wild. Man sentenced to 16 years in prison for murder of Tieli Alves, attempted murder of UFC fighter Raulian Paiva

Toughness. Kevin Holland headed to surgery after breaking multiple bones in hand at UFC Orlando


The MMA Hour.

UFC 282 Embedded 1.

Ankalaev’s top knockouts.

Bryce Mitchell’s promise.

Free fight.

UFC Journey: Part 1.

UFC 282 Co-main event breakdown.

A dream come true.


Still rivals.

Well, I don’t know about that…

Finally.

Not too shabby.

Is there one?

Reaction.

Matchmaking.

It is all over.

Peace out, girl scout.

Quite a list.

Above the nut.

Just bleed.

Gains.

Smile.

Oh, Arnold.


Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6) vs. Alex Morono (22-7); UFC 282, Dec. 10

Jimmy Flick (16-5) vs. Charles Johnson (12-3); UFC Vegas 67, Jan. 14

Lukasz Brzeski (8-2-1, 1 NC) vs. Karl Williams (7-1); UFC Fight Night, March 11

Demetrious Johnson (31-4-1) vs. Adriano Moraes (20-4); ONE on Prime Video 10, May 5


Thompson vs. Holland was thoroughly enjoyable and I actually haven’t really seen anyone go this far in terms of ranking it as a fight. It should probably be getting more love than it appears to be getting, but not sure if it deserves the absolute most love imaginable… if that makes sense. Either way, it was indeed an undeniably awesome fight. Best ever? Not for me, personally.

Thanks for reading!


Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 68% of 528 total votes answered “Rafael dos Anjos” when asked, “Who wins tomorrow?” dos Anjos defeated Bryan Barberena via second-round submission (neck crank) at 3:20 in UFC Orlando’s co-main event.

Thursday: 69% of 472 total votes answered “Tai Tuivasa” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?Sergei Pavlovich defeated Tuivasa via first-round knockout (punches) at 0:54 at UFC Orlando.

Wednesday: 55% of 574 total votes answered “Stephen Thompson” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Thompson defeated Kevin Holland via fourth-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 in UFC Orlando’s main event.

Tuesday: 72% of 748 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will you watch Power Slap League?

Monday: 84% of 529 total votes answered “No, he should be lower” when asked, “Does Islam Makhachev deserve to be the No. 2 ranked P4P fighter in the UFC?

Today’s exit poll:

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