Dan Henderson has been officially retired for less than two weeks, but the 46 year-old is already leaving the door open for a possible return to the Octagon if he’s ever offered a trilogy fight with Michael Bisping.
Henderson brutally knocked out Bisping in their first encounter at UFC 100 in 2009, but he wasn’t able to repeat the feat at UFC 204 earlier this month, dropping his rival twice, but ultimately losing out by unanimous decision on the scorecards.
Having had a chance to re-watch the fight, ‘Hendo’ is now absolutely convinced that he defeated his biggest rival, which would have enabled him to achieve his dream of retiring as the UFC’s middleweight champion.
“I absolutely felt that I won rounds one and two, and the fifth,” Henderson wrote on champions.co. “I landed almost or as much as he did and I took him down in the fifth. Going into that last round, I felt that worst case, it would be a draw. I didn’t want that. I wanted to win, so I went out there and poured it on, and I’m sure I did. That’s how I felt that night, and even moreso after watching the video.
“I don’t know what type of fight anyone’s ever witnessed or been in, whether it be in a school yard, a professional arena or in a bar, where if one opponent looks like Mike did, if he looks like a guy that got his ass kicked…he probably did get his ass kicked. He’d probably be called by everyone the loser of the fight.”
With that in mind, Henderson has been left with a scratch that he can’t quite itch, and so he’s not ruling out the possibility that one day he could put his gloves back on to fight Bisping for a third time.
“If this fight had happened last year, and I hadn’t decided to make it my retirement fight, the fans would have demanded a trilogy. Hell, I’m pretty pissed off right now, and for the right money, I’m pretty sure I could be talked into the rubber match, not that I think he would accept another invitation to get beat up again. At the same time, I’m content with what I’ve done and in knowing, if only in my heart, that I won that fight.”
For the record, a round-up of notable MMA media scorecards after UFC 204 showed that 14 agreed with the judges and scored the fight in favor of Bisping, while 6 favored Henderson and 4 thought it was a draw.