Michael Bisping has retained his UFC Middleweight Title against a hard-hitting Dan Henderson at UFC 204 earlier today. Bisping was able to edge past Henderson in front of a sellout home crowd in Manchester, securing the victory on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
However Bisping didn’t have it all his own way, as Henderson battered the Brit with his trademark “H-Bomb” throughout the fight.
The two fighters exchanged strikes in the first round, with Henderson attacking with leg kicks and right hands while Bisping tried to attack from range. Nearing the latter part of the round Henderson was able to floor Bisping with his trademark right hand. For a moment it appeared that their previous meeting was to be repeated, however Bisping was able to rally and survive to the end of the round.
Bisping came out aggressive in the second round, repeatedly pushing Henderson to the cage and peppering him with strikes. Yet again Henderson’s power shone through, as he was able to send Bisping to the mat for a second time as he connected with a huge right hand that reversed a previously one-sided round.
— UFC (@ufc) October 9, 2016
Bisping was again able to survive until the round ended and continued to raise the tempo throughout the third and fourth round. The Brit landed a range of strikes and was able to avoid Henderson’s right hands and takedown attempts to swing the fight back into his favour.
The final round saw the two fighters empty their gas tanks in an effort to clinch the fight. Henderson was able to land with a couple of powerful combinations and a takedown while the champion threw out combination after combination against his long-time rival.
The usually outspoken Brit was ultimately humble in victory, crediting Henderson for the vicious fight in his post-fight Octagon interview.
“Give it up for Dan Henderson. At his age, he just kicked my arse. You have to respect him,” Bisping said in front of a packed crowd.
For Henderson the fight spelt the end of his illustrious MMA career as he officially announced his retirement post fight.
“Fortunate for you guys, unfortunate for anyone who didn’t come, this is the last time anyone will see me fight live…I want to say thankyou to the fans for making this fight happen.”
— #UFC204 (@btsportufc) October 9, 2016
Elsewhere on the card Gegard Mousasi was able to showcase his class and take out perennial contender Vitor Belfort in the second round. Mousasi stalked Belfort for the good part of two rounds, picking him apart with strikes before he was able to land a brutal headkick and finish the fight with ground and pound.
The UK’s own Jimi Manuwa was able to get past the ultra-dangerous Ovince Saint Preux in front of a home crowd. Manuwa showcased his scary knockout power in the fight, staggering Saint Preux with a range of punches before shutting his lights out for good in the second round.
“People come to see me fight because I don’t come for decisions. I come to put my opponents away.”