The UFC returned to the U.K. for another show, this one shown live in the U.S. on Spike TV, on Oct. 18, 2008, at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
Hometown hero Michael Bisping headlined the card in a match with granite-chinned Chris Leben.
Bisping had been the face of British mixed martial arts since appearing on Season 3 of "The Ultimate Fighter," but on this show, he received some help. Dan Hardy of Nottingham, England, made his UFC debut on the card and received a huge prefight push.
His bout, against Akihiro Gono, was almost as well-received by the crowd as the Bisping-Leben fight.
The colorful Hardy took a split decision from Gono, while Bisping outslugged Leben and won a unanimous decision.
But the results were overshadowed when it was announced several days following the bout that Leben had tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. He was suspended for nine months and fined a third of his purse.
The show was well-received on Spike TV and attracted 3.4 million viewers.
Speculation began to mount after the show, much of it fueled by Bisping, that Bisping would be tapped as one of the coaches for Season 9 of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Heavyweight Shane Carwin blew out Neil Wain in 1:31, his second consecutive quick UFC victory.
Quoteworthy: "All people seem to be talking about is a title fight. Whenever it comes I'll be happy, if they said it was next fight or in five fights, I'll be happy." – Bisping, on whether he is ready for a shot at the middleweight title.
Samy Schiavo def. Per Eklund, submission (rear naked choke), 1:47 R2
Jim Miller def. Dabid Braon, submission (rear naked choke), 3:19 R3
Terry Etim def. Sam Stout, unanimous decision
David Bielkheiden def. Jess Liaudin, unanimous decision
Dan Hardy def. Akihiro Gono, split decision
Marcus Davis, def. Paull Kelly, submission (guillotine choke), 2:16 R2
Chris Lytle def. Paul Taylor, unanimous decision
Luiz Cane def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, TKO, 4;15 R2
Keith Jardine def. Brandon Vera, split decision
Michael Bisping def. Chris Leben, unanimous decision
- Michael Bisping
- Chris Leben
- Akihiro Gono