UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will be defending his title tonight at UFC 204 against 46-year-old veteran Dan Henderson in Manchester, England. Henderson doesn’t deserve the title shot in this writer’s opinion, but it seems the UFC executives have given him the fight as a career send off.
Bisping, 37, already lost to Henderson by a 2nd round knockout six years ago at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Henderson’s career has gone dramatically south since then with a whole bunch of losses and very few wins. The only guys that Henderson has beaten in the last five years have been arguably lesser fighters.
Bisping obviously has been reliving his KO loss to Henderson from 2009 again and again. He wants to avenge the loss, as he was knocked out cold in front of a large crowd on the night. Tonight, there will be a huge mess of Bisping’s British MMA fans that will be there live in Manchester to see if he can get revenge. It would be a nice feather in Bisping’s cap if he can whip Henderson and get the results he’s looking for.
Bisping had this to say to mmafighting.com about tonight’s fight against Henderson:
“That knockout happened seven years ago, and if you think I’ve never seen it you would be mistaken. That knockout has been repeated and shown by the UFC, on FOX Sports, on Twitter, the amount of people who tweet me that GIF is unbelievable, me seeing that is nothing new, I’ve seen it ad nauseam, of course, you don’t want to see it, you don’t want to see the guy knocking you out. But listen, I felt it, I’ve seen it, I’ve saw it a million times, it’s great. It fuels me; it fuels me to show that world that, well listen, that’s not going to happen again.”
It’s fortunate that Bisping is even the UFC middleweight champion at this point in his career, because he’s not the same fighter he was in the past. Bisping has had losses to Chael Sonnen, Tim Kennedy, Vitor Belfort and Like Rockhold in the last three years. However, Bisping got a surprise 1st round knockout win over Rockhold in their rematch against UFC 199 last June to capture the UFC middleweight title. There were a lot of MMA fans at that fight, and it was a big win for Bisping, because many people had given up on him and seen him as past his best.
“The fight makes sense,” Bisping said. “Dan Henderson has proven he’s still effective, he’s still got a big right hand, he still knocks people out, the last thing that goes is power, and on top of the power he still has good timing on it.”