Bisping wins big, but over an awful Miller

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
1:31
AM ET
Okamoto By Brett Okamoto
ESPN.com
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LAS VEGAS -- Following the conclusion of Saturday’s middleweight fight between Jason Miller and Michael Bisping at "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 14 finale, UFC president Dana White tweeted it was the most one-sided fight in the promotion’s history.

It probably wasn’t quite that. It was, well ... something.

In time, the TKO win Bisping (22-3) claimed midway through the third round will be viewed as nothing more than a positive result. It extends his current win streak to four and moves him one step closer to a middleweight title shot in 2012.

In the immediate future, however, it will be classified as one of two things: Either a dominant performance by a man ready to fight for the UFC title or an uninspired one, over an opponent who mysteriously gassed out before the fight even started.

Which do you see it as?

Miller (23-8), who was fighting in the UFC for the first time since 2005, was visibly exhausted in the second round. He continued to play to the crowd, purposefully dropping his hands during exchanges, but it seemed the biggest effect that had was making it easier for Bisping to finish him.

As Bisping put it, by the time that happened, the fight was already over.

“That’s normally the sign of a man who has nothing left to do,” Bisping said. “He tries to have a bit of bravado, so at least he looks tough while he gets his a-- kicked.”

But as impressive as a knockout win over Miller is -- it’s only happened once before -- it didn’t seem like a perfect week if you’re a No. 1 contender hopeful.

On Friday, Bisping missed making weight on his first attempt. He missed by a mere quarter-pound, which came off after just “10 minutes” on the treadmill, but rumors of a difficult weight cut for the Brit quickly circulated.
[+] EnlargeJason Miller
Al Powers for ESPN.comA quickly winded Jason Miller offered next to nothing against Michael Bisping.

In the fight, he showed evidence of stamina issues himself, despite dominating from the second round on. When asked about both his own and Miller’s cardio, Bisping pointed to the quick pace of the fight.

“That’s nonsense,” Bisping said, on whether he or Miller had cardio issues. “I guarantee you Jason didn’t gas. I guarantee you he could have gone five rounds.

“When someone is landing body shots on you like I was, your cardio gets affected. You take the best runners in the world -- start kicking them, and they’ll get tired.”

Miller, who was transported to the hospital Saturday, tweeted a different opinion.

“Got tired,” Miller tweeted. “Thanks for watching. I’ll be back stronger next time.”

To Bisping’s credit, he certainly did more than a few things right to secure the finish. He overcame an early headbutt from Miller, which left a large welt on his forehead. He defended the majority of takedowns and kept pressure on when it was clear Miller had wilted.

Whether he had difficulty with the weight cut or not, one can’t argue with the result.

“He’s a tough, durable guy,” Bisping said. “But I knew he couldn’t take that pace. I backed up a few times and he didn’t even want to get to his feet. For someone with no punching power, I think seven of my last eight opponents have gone to the hospital."

Before the main event Saturday, the UFC officially announced a middleweight fight between Chael Sonnen (26-11-1) and Mark Munoz (12-2) on Jan. 28, which will determine the next No. 1 contender for champion Anderson Silva.

Is a rare finish over Miller enough to have the UFC second-guess that decision? Well, it depends on how you look at it.

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