Michael Bisping avenged his most embarrassing loss, and retired his foe in Dan Henderson in the process at UFC 204.
UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson went to war in an instant classic, that saw Henderson almost knock Bisping out, much like their first bout at UFC 100.
Their feud has carried on for seven years. Henderson knocked out Bisping at UFC 100, in what many thought finished their rivalry after a bitter season of The Ultimate Fighter in which the two coached against each other. Bisping was the subject of much ridicule following the loss, one of the most vicious in history.
Fast forward seven years, a TRT ban, USADA drug tests, and a Bisping title reign later, and UFC 204 was the right time to make the re-match. Despite criticisms about the choice to book the bout, it exceeded the hype.
Bisping controlled about 21 of 25 minutes of the fight, and came close to losing -- on multiple occasions. The decision (49-48,49-48, 49-46) was a close one as is, but Henderson almost knocked Bisping cold in each of the first two rounds. Bisping managed to nearly quadruple Henderson's strike output in round 2, which earned him the round on one score card.
From round 3 on, Bisping took control. His superior conditioning, footwork, and combinations dominated Henderson outside of a brief takedown and a flurry in round five that put the decision into question. The scorecards were read, and Bisping emerged victorious.
After the fight, Bisping put the whole division on notice.
"All you f*cking assholes in the rest division...Weidman, what the hell, you lost your last fight. Rockhold, I knocked you out in three minutes, buddy. Yoel Romero, you're suspended for steroids, shame on you! Jacare, you just got beat! Win a fight, get off the couch, let's f-cking do this," said Bisping, to a huge roar from his countrymen in Manchester, England.
Dan Henderson confirmed the speculation (from himself, really), and called it a career. The legendary Henderson won a UFC tournament and captured Strikeforce and PRIDE FC Championships on his way to one of the most impressive careers in the sport's history. "That was the last time that anyone will see me fight live," Henderson said.
You can check out Fightful.com's full UFC 204 coverage at this link.