The British middleweight contender somehow managed to outpoint one of the best strikers in the entire division with little difficulty.
It was easily one of the best performances of Bisping's UFC career, despite the ending being ruined by an accidental eye poke in the third round. The bout was all Bisping, and after the eye poke, he was awarded a much-deserved technical decision.
Looking back, this fight will likely haunt Belcher for a long time. He was by far the more skilled and diverse striker on paper, but Bisping still managed to stand toe to toe with him in the center of the Octagon and best the exchanges.
Bisping did a good job of mixing up his punches with kicks, but his combinations remained very basic. Throughout most of the fight, he generally stuck with either a basic one-two or two jabs and a cross. He would occasionally throw in a kick at the end of a combination.
Belcher was simply the slower fighter in this bout. He allowed Bisping to bounce around outside and move in and out of the pocket at will.
A smarter strategy for Belcher would have been to be more aggressive and cut off the cage. He could have sought out opportunities to close the distance and slow the fight down by pressing Bisping against the fence and working from the clinch.
Instead, he chose to fight on Bisping's terms, which ultimately led to the decision loss.
Critics can say what they want about Bisping, but few fighters can keep up with the incredibly high pace he sets in fights. He is constantly moving and making himself an elusive target. His footwork and great utilization of feints allows him to dance around in the pocket and keep opponents guessing.
His style of fighting can almost be compared to that of former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. This isn't to say Bisping possesses the same boxing abilities as Edgar, but his ability to quickly move in and out of the pocket typically overwhelms everyone he faces.
Bisping's only problem has been a tendency to drop his hands while moving backward or circling. These mistakes led to knockout losses to Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort.
As long as Bisping maintains a solid defensive posture, he should be well on his way to earning a shot at the UFC title.
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