Though Batman ended the night losing to Bane, It should be remembered that over the course of Knightfall (the first arc), Batman and Robin together managed to fight off or defeat 15 different super criminals and all in one night.
It wasn't all in one night but several nights at least. That is still some very impressive heroics.
Jean Paul Valley may have lost his mind and the right to wear the cape and cowl, but when he faced off with Bane in his new costume, his crowning moment of awesome came not from beating Bane within an inch of his life. It's when he has Bane at his mercy, the police and Robin watching on in suspense of what he will do. Then Bane finally says, "Kill me, Batman..." (he's spent the entirety of the fight refusing to acknowledge him as Batman).
Valley: ".....NO. You're broken, Bane. Blackgate Prison can hold the pieces."
When Bruce Wayne completes his training and puts the suit back on in preparation for fighting his replacement, a swarm of bats bursts into Bane's cell.
Bane: "He's back."
Despite being a villain, Bane gets one massive CMOA with his plan to break the Bat. He successfully runs Batman ragged, deduces his identity, and is waiting in Wayne Manor when the weary Dark Knight returns for some rest. Finally, in a single act, Bane lands a blow against Batman that has never been matched in the almost twenty years since.
Bane: I am Bane— And I could kill you... but death would only end your agony— and silence your shame. Instead, I will simply... BREAK YOU! Broken... and done.
In the final confrontation between Bruce Wayne and Jean Paul Valley, Bruce proves why he truly is the Batman: a simple knock-down drag-out brawl proves inconclusive, so Bruce instead beats Jean Paul psychologically, forcing him into a psychotic break...and then, showing compassion to his defeated foe. It pretty much illustrates what makes Batman Batman. If he can't outfight someone, he'll outthink them. And to those who truly deserve mercy, he has it to give.
Before the above defeat Batman, who was supposed to be dead for about an issue, confronts Valley in his own mansion and is poised exactly as Bane had in the issue before his broken back.