LAS VEGAS, December 3 – They showered Michael Bisping with a heavy chorus of boos, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Miller! Miller! Miller!”
Yet none of the mass disdain mattered as the fiery Brit wore down and battered Jason “Mayhem” Miller and forced a referee stoppage late in the third round. The clash of The Ultimate Fighter </a>14 coaches and two of the UFC’s most colorful enemies was fun while it lasted though.
Miller (34-9, 1 NC) had jumped all over Bisping early, scoring with a takedown, ground and pound and some effective striking despite an obvious ugliness to his standup techniques. But the frantic pace caused the zany Californian to wilt heading into the second round, which spelled doom against Bisping, a cardio machine.
“I feel tired,” Bisping (23-3) said afterward. “He’s a tough guy. I knew I would have a hard time to finish him. You’re all booing, whatever… We had a fantastic season of the Ultimate Fighter. Congratulations UFC. Thank you UFC, to my wife and three kids. … Everybody who has helped, thank you very much.” See post-fight interview
Winner of five of his past six fights, Bisping has the look of a top contender to middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. However, the British fighter conceded that his showing against Miller left something to be desired.
“If it was against the champion, a first round like that wouldn’t cut it,” Bisping said. “So I’ve got some work to do.”
Miller, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat.
“I trained really hard for this fight. I’m sorry guys, I got tired,” said Miller, his left eye badly swollen. “I can’t make excuses about it. For all the boos that Michael Bisping gets, as a fighter, he deserves your applause.”