MACAU, China - Perennial contender Michael Bisping earned a fourth-round TKO victory over Cung Le on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Macau, China.
Bisping (25-6) admitted his back was against the wall heading into his matchup with Le (9-3). Fortunately for "The Count," his performance left little doubt that he's still among the world's best middleweights.
Bisping and Le both looked to strike from the start, with Le firing powerful blows and Bisping preferring a volume-based attack. Bisping appeared the quicker fighter to start, and it paid off in short order.
At the start of the second frame, a crisp Bisping punch scored directly to Le's right eye, which instantly began to close. Le initially thought he was poked in the eye, but replays showed it was a clean blow that caused the damage. Bisping immediately realized his opponent's limitations and continued to attack at every opportunity.
Le showed incredible heart as he continued to look for a potential power shot that could sway the momentum, but Bisping was simply too much as he continued to push the pace. Early in the fourth, Bisping unleashed a flurry of punches that saw Le wilt against the cage. A brutal knee then sent Le crashing to the canvas, and Bisping pounced with additional punches to seal the result 57 seconds into the round.
Afterward, Bisping said he would welcome a bout with Luke Rockhold as a means of working his way to a shot at the UFC middleweight belt.
"I want to be a world champion, and I know I have to back it," Bisping said. "This is backing it up. … I'm beating Luke Rockhold, and then I'm winning the title."
In the night's co-feature, Tyron Woodley (14-3) picked up an impressive win over Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim (19-3-1), needing just 61 seconds to pick up a TKO victory.
Kim was the aggressor early, walking forward from the start and looking to engage. Woodley countered by working into the clinch and hoping for a takedown that wouldn't come. When they separated, Kim gambled with a big spinning elbow, but Woodley scored flush with a punch that caught his opponent mid-turn. Kim tried desperately to recover, but Woodley pounced with heavy ground-and-pound blows, forcing referee Steve Perceval to intervene just 61 seconds into the fight.
"My whole gameplan was to stay close and dictate how the fight went," Woodley said after the fight. "When I saw him start to spin, I knew I could unload and catch him. It played out perfectly."
In a lightweight contest, "The Ultimate Fighter: China" winner Zhang Lipeng (8-7-1) showed improved takedown defense and jiu-jitsu skills en route to scoring a clear-cut decision win over Australian import Brendan O'Reilly (5-1).
And in a delayed featherweight tournament final of "The Ultimate Fighter: China" Ning Guangyou (4-2-1) scored a lackluster decision win over Jianping Yang (6-4-1), taking the fight 29-28 on all three judges' cards.