Bisping aims to end Henderson’s career with successful rematch defence at UFC 204 in Manchester
Lee Gormley | 8 October 2016
Michael Bisping v Dan Henderson
- UFC middleweight title fight
- Sunday, October 9th
- Scheduled for: 05:00 BST
- Manchester Arena
- Live on BT Sport 2
UFC 204 tips as Bisping battles Henderson
After becoming Britain’s first ever UFC champion when dethroning Luke Rockhold in June, Michael Bisping will look to successfully defend his middleweight title against former conqueror Dan Henderson at UFC 204 in Manchester this weekend.
Bisping (29-7) stunned Rockhold in the opening round of their showdown at UFC 199, having also outpointed the great Anderson Silva earlier in February, and he can clinch the latest success of his career in front of a partisan crowd.
The reigning middleweight champion, born in Cyprus but raised in Clitheroe, will be backed by huge support at the Manchester Arena and will enter the octagon at evens with Coral to gain knockout revenge over Henderson (32-14) in their rematch.
Seven years ago, Henderson emphatically stopped Bisping with a thumping overhand right in their initial meeting, leaving him out cold on the canvas. The veteran fighter has confirmed this will be his final octagon outing and he is 2/1 to sign off with another KO victory to become UFC middleweight champion.
Bisping sees no chance of repeat result
Despite having tasted defeat at the hands of MMA legend Henderson back in 2009, in one of the sport’s most memorable ever finishes, Bisping sees no chance of history repeating itself.
The 37-year-old is on a four-fight winning streak since April last year and he is confident of continuing that form by avenging his initial loss and sending the Californian into retirement.
“Anyone that follows MMA knows the ups and downs I’ve had,” stated the defending champion, who is 3/1 to gain the decision on home soil. “I’ve had a lot of doubters along the way. I never stopped believing in myself and my family certainly didn’t.
“It’s been an incredible journey and now I’m here. This is all well and good but now I have to go in and fight. I have to perform, but don’t worry about that, I will perform – believe you me.
“Of course, as a competitor, I want to get that one (Henderson KO) back, but really there is no ill will. I’m gonna fight for everything I’ve got and it’s going to take a helluva man to stop me – and I don’t think he will.”
Champions takes swipe at Henderson past
‘The Count’ is sure to have the rapturous support of a packed out Manchester Arena crowd, with UFC 204 tickets having swiftly sold out in just six minutes, and he insists his opponent has been on the slide since the banning of the controversial testosterone replacement therapy in 2014.
“Dan has slowed down a bit. I think his chin is a little more suspect,” declared Bisping. “Regarding the TRT thing, it helps you when you’re on it, but since it’s been banned, he’s has depreciated. He hasn’t aged like fine wine, he’s gone the other way.
“He’s a little slower. I think there’s a reason why he said he’s going to retire. Nobody talks about retirement and says ‘this is going to be my last one’ – he’s struggling.
“He’s a legend of the sport…”
“God bless him, he’s had a great career. He’s a legend of the sport and he still has that knockout power. That’s what makes him dangerous.
“If he was a guy that decisioned people, it wouldn’t be interesting. The interesting thing is – is he going to knock me out again? He thinks he is, but I’m telling you right now that he is not.”
Having enjoyed a rampant rise to supremacy this year, Bisping is 3/1 to give his Manchester fans a first-round stoppage success to cheer about, as he looks to end Henderson’s career and defend his strap at UFC 204.
Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi will also square off in the octagon for the co-main event in the early hours of Sunday morning, and the latter is 5/4 to earn an opening round success.
Meanwhile, Londoner Jimi Manuwa is 11/8 to overcome Ovince Saint Preux in a bout he must win in order to resurrect his UFC career.
After reading our UFC 204 tips, how do you see the fight going in Manchester? Have your say in our comments section!