The MMA world is still digesting Michael Bisping’s controversial decision win over Anderson Silva in London this past Saturday (February 27, 2016), and for good reason.

‘The Count’ undoubtedly pushed the pace on ‘The Spider,’ throwing and landing far more punches with his superior work rate to sway the judges, but it was also clear that Silva landed by far the most damaging shots with a huge third round flying knee and a fifth round front kick, both of which rocked Bisping.

Many are still arguing that Bisping was finished at the end of that third round, but he appeared to collect himself just quick enough for Herb Dean to allow the bout to go on. While Silva could have easily capitalized and potentially finished Bisping in the fourth, he perplexingly showed little output until a low blow actually gave ‘The Count’ more time to recover and win the pivotal round.

The bout ultimately came down to a close unanimous decision, and again, many, including Silva’s manager Ed Soares, who called for an immediate rematch at UFC 198 in May, still believe ‘The Spider’ deserved the nod. But there were also several key things that Silva didn’t do but should have, and those aspects most definitely helped ‘The Count’ win according to the rules in place.

Let’s take a look back to what Silva could and should have done to sway the scorecards in his favor or finish the fight outright.

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6.) Volume:

Overall, Silva just didn’t throw enough strikes to defeat Bisping, who is very well known for his high-volume striking and pace, in a decision. It seemed like Silva needed the first two rounds to find his pace and rhythm, and with only one fight in the previous two years, that’s understandable.

However, it allowed Bisping to win those two rounds hands down, putting ‘The Spider’ in a hole that he only emerged from after that fateful third round-ending knee. Again, he could have most likely stopped ‘The Count’ in the fourth, but he chose to continue backing up and using his dance moves rather than pressing the pace with more powerful strikes.

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It cost him the fight.

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5.) Focus on an overall performance:

Building off the first thing Silva failed to do in order to win, the legendary striker just didn’t put together a full five-round fight that was deemed worthy of winning the decision.

He seemed content to back all the way up to the cage, looking to slip and duck away from Bisping’s strikes in order to land that perfect counter shot to add the Brit to his long list of highlight reel finishes. With his counter speed and reaction time slowing a bit at 40 years old, that shot never came, and he ended up paying the price for it.

If he could have showed more urgency in the later rounds, a win might have been his.

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4.) Stop backing up to the fence:

A big part of putting together an overall winning performance, Silva appeared too focused on reverting back to his old antics in order to show his evasion skills. While it may have resulted in some classic dodges, it no doubt also scored Bisping huge points considering that he was pushing the action for the vast majority of the bout.

You never know if an MMA judge is going to score damage or forward movement more preferentially, and sometimes the fighter dictating the action gets way more points than they should. That’s not to say that Bisping didn’t deserve to win, because he undoubtedly put together arguably his finest performance and outworked Silva overall.

He just wasn’t met with much resistance when he did move forward, and although Silva picked up his momentum later on, his strategy of backing all the way up to the fence was a bad one for defeating a volume-based point fighter like Bisping.

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3.) Stop clowning:

The many times Silva did back up the fence, he also began his usual juking and jiving that sometimes make him look like he’s at a dance party rather than in a fight. In the past, he’d been able to use his otherworldly hand speed to pepper his opponent with threatening counter shots that made them tentative to even throw many punches.

That simply hasn’t happened in his last four fights, and Bisping took full advantage of it by pressuring him with his back against the wall. It was a workmanlike effort that scored a win under the scoring system in place, and Silva could have simply cleaned up his game and focused on winning the fight.

That’s not his style as we all know, but it appears that he’s going to have to give up some of his old flamboyance if he wants to continue winning fights past age 40.

The win was there against Bisping; he just didn’t go get it.

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2.) Find that old killer instinct:

Silva obviously had Bisping on the ropes to start the fourth round; there’s just no way he couldn’t have after the devastating flying knee that nailed ‘The Count’ right on the chin.

However, when Silva had prior foes similarly stunned in previous encounters from years past, he always seemed to put them away with the relentless intensity that made him one of the most feared martial artists of all-time.

News surfaced today that Silva may have injured the same leg he broke against Chris Weidman in their UFC 168 rematch (although not to the same degree), which could have played a big part as to why Silva seemed hesitant to push the pace against Bisping. While we will never know how much that truly affected his ability to finish off the resilient Bisping, what we do know is that we clearly didn’t see the old Silva last weekend, because that version would have gone for and most likely gotten the win.

That’s to be expected of a 40-year-old fighter. However, regardless of the reason, Silva didn’t capitalize on the opportunities he had, and he paid for it with another disappointing loss.

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1.) Don’t walk away from your downed opponent:

The final – and perhaps most impactful – thing that Silva failed to do in order to beat Bisping was stay on him after he clearly had him rocked badly with that third round-ending knee.

Now, it will probably be debated for quite some time, and the timing of the madness certainly played a big factor into what happened, because if he had maybe five more seconds (or even three) then Silva could have swarmed and finished off the dazed ‘Count’ with ease.

But he didn’t swarm with any following strikes, maybe because he thought Dean stopping the round was him stopping the fight, maybe because he didn’t want to hurt a beaten Bisping; but as Dana White noted after the fight, you simply have to stay on your opponent to ensure the contest is over. The bell rang almost right as Bisping was hit with the knee, so there might not have been enough time to legitimately stop the fight.

You have to find out, however. Bisping was unable to get up and onto the stool that his corner shockingly brought over to him, and he was truly saved by the subsequent 90-second break that ensued thanks to all the confusion. He may not have been unconscious, but he was clearly in bad shape, meaning that Silva may or may not have been able to get the stoppage.

If he had only tried, we might be talking about a completely different outcome rather than discussing all of the things he did wrong in a fight that was very obviously winnable for him. Now, the future is uncertain for Silva, and even though it would have been regardless of the outcome of his fight with Bisping, there certainly could be a lot more confidence in his fighting future if he had only made a few changes to his game in England.