We’re in a strange world where Michael Bisping somehow rose above his station in life and defeated Luke Rockhold to take the middleweight belt – thereby giving Dan Henderson the opportunity to challenge the Brit for the title despite being old and spent. Has Bisping learned from their last contest, when “Hendo” knocked him into oblivion with a monster right hand?
Round 1 unfolds with Bisping looking way more measured and technical than their match seven years ago, with the Brit patiently firing off kicks and punches while chasing the American around the circumference of the cage. He’s scoring and racking up points, and then… WHAM, Henderson lands his killer right hand and Bisping goes down like a sack of potatoes. Henderson follows him down, dropping hammerfists and elbows like there’s no tomorrow, and Bisping just barely hangs on. The horns sounds, saving him.
Round 2 is just about a carbon copy of the first, with Bisping scoring and racking up those points, and then falling prey to that deadly cross. Again, Bisping survives to the horn. Oh the drama!
Bisping makes up for lost ground in the third, pecking away with his strikes and avoiding trouble by adding in feints that keep Henderson guessing. Henderson fails to land his right hand, so his clearly loses the round.
Just as in the third, Henderson doesn’t get to send his opponent to the canvas with his monster right, although he does manage to fire back with knees. Bisping, meanwhile, stays mobile as he comes in with his kicks and combos, and his constant scoring means he probably has evened up the fight two rounds to two.
The final round has Hendo turning up the pressure a bit, and though he’s unable to out-box the Brit, with about a minute and a half left he succeeds briefly with a takedown. They’re soon back on their feet, and after Bisping stuffs another takedown attempt, he leaps into the air with a flying knee. The horns sounds with Henderson going for some sort of rolling technique (a cartwheel kick? A rolling kneebar? Did his pacemaker short-circuit?).
Results: Michael Bisping def. Dan Henderson via Unanimous Decision