Michael Bisping avenged his infamous KO loss to Dan Henderson tonight at UFC 204, but he had to battle back from some moments of extreme adversity as his rival’s right hand again threatened to ruin his night.
The main event middleweight title fight is underway!
Touch of the gloves for these two old rivals. High body kick for Bisping. He’s taking the center of the Octagon. Hendo with a leg kick.
Head kick attempt from Bisping that’s blocked. Bisping just short with a left hook. Hendo poised to land that H-Bomb at any moment.
Bisping with a body kick. Henderson with a leg kick. Cautious start from Bisping, but he is focused and dodges a big swing from Henderson and lands a counter.
Bisping tries the head kick again. Now a leg kick. Couple of jabs and a right hand from BIsping. Henderson tries for a takedown, but BIsping backs away. Solid strike lands for Hendo though.
Bisping with another head kick, but each time it’s been blocked by Henderson so far.
Terrific support for Bisping from the UK support here. Right hand gets through for Bisping and he ducks away from the counter.
Bisping doing well to spring out of range after landing his shots sso far. Having said that, a right hand does land for Hendo.
Hendo shuffles forward and fires off that right hand hard, but Bisping moved away from it.
Hendo with another huge punch and that one lands hard and knocks Bisping to the mat. Hendo tries to drop down for that huge forehand strike again, but unlike UFC 100 Bisping is still conscious and gets out of the way of that.
Hendo piles on the ground and pound strikes, but Bisping is hanging on in there and gets back to his feet. He’s bleeding from the face though, but still tries to go back on the offensive at the end of the round.
Bisping still taking the center of the Octagon to start the second. He’s working off the jab. Leg kick for him. He goes for the head kick, but Henderson is defending that well.
Hendo constantly looking for the opening to land that big right hand again.
Bisping lands a couple of solid straight punches that back Henderson up. Leg kick for Hendo. Head kick for Bisping, blocked yet again.
Straight right for Bisping. He lands a right hook during a combo. leg kick, then another punch. Very nice combo from Bisping there, landing the hook and then a head kick that knocks Henderson off-balance slightly. He seems ok though and tries to come back on the offensive.
Henderson looking a little tired out there, but one punch could turn the fight in his favor again. Bisping continuing to throw that head kick and while he’s blocking them, that can’t feel good on Hendo’s arm.
Bisping with a combination, but needss to be careful to protect his chin. Bisping lands a couple of punches and a kick that hurt Henderson and he backs up looking troubled. There might have been a groin strike there, but he’s having to fight on anyway as the champion continues to pursue him with more strikes.
Suddenly Henderson lands a big right hand that drops Bisping again. Hendo drops in on him, but doesn’t land the killer blow and Bisping is able to tie him up and make it to the end of the round.
Bisping clearly won most of that round, but Hendo’s right hand is continuing to be a huge problem for him and it will be interesting to see how the judges score that, if we get that far!
Bisping coming forward again, he shows no fear. A few quick jabs to set up a straight right for Bisping. Now a nice kick.
Hendo with a left hand. Oblique kick for Bisping. Leg kick for him now as he looks to picks his shots. Henderson just waiting for that opening again. He can conserve his energy and change the fight in an instant.
Nice right hook lands for Bisping. Snapping jab for the champ. Good accuracy with that as he lands it again. Low kick kick now. Another leg kick, then one upstairs.
Back to the jab for Bisping, keeping Henderson guessing. One-two combo for Bisping, but it’s blocked. Bisping with a combo in close as Hendo tries to return fire.
nice right hand for Bisping, then backs away from the counter. He rushes forward with a body kick. Bisping eats a punch, but seems ok.
Upstairs with the kick again, but Hendo still blocking. Solid combination ended by a right for Bisping that backs up his rival.
Solid leg kick for Henderson, but eats a counter. Henderson loses his bearings for a moment and Bisping tags him with a few punches to the body and head.
That huge right for Hendo lands, but Bisping takes it this time, then goes back on the attack as the round ends. Good round for Bisping.
Mirror image of the first three rounds as Henderson retreats to the outside and Bisping starts to chip away at him with strikes. So far he’s been the better fighter, but despite Hendo’s right hand being the only issue for him, there’s still no guarantee he can avoid it.
Speaking of which, Henderson does land a right, but Bisping laughs it off. Nice kick from Bisping. Hendo with a leg kick. Now one to the body as he tries to move towards the center of the Octagon for a change. Low blow from Bisping and Hendo needs a minute to recover.
Hendo looked like he was starting to change tactics there, pressing forward a bit more for the first time in the fight, so it’ll be interesting to see if he continues with that strategy when they reset. Hendo taking time here to catch his breath before he gets back to action.
Back to it we go at last with still half the round remaining. A couple of jabs land for Bisping. Head kick attempt doesn’t. Right hand grazes Hendo’s head.
Hendo charges forward with a punch and kick. He pumps out the double jab. Bisping with a body kick, then tries upstairs. Leg kick misses for Hendo.
Right hand just misses for Henderson, but he does land with the body kick. Henderson wings the huge overhand right and it misses.
Nice series of jabs then a right from Bisping. He tries a flashy head kick, but Hendo’s guard is still up. They get in close at the end of the round and Hendo takes the opportunity to land a nice knee that gets a nod from his rival.
More cautious round from Bisping there, while Hendo is making more of an effort to press forward.
Front kick attempt from Bisping as he backs Hendo up towards the cage as he’s done each round so far. Spinning kick from Bisping doesn’t land. Hendo tries to put together a combination.
Nice uppercut and a kick from Henderson as he lumbers forward. Hendo a little reckless, but dangerous as he wings a couple of punches in Bisping’s direction.
Bisping misses with a couple of punches. He lands a low kick. Now a jab. Leg kick then a one-two for the champ. He moves away from a two-punch combo from Henderson.
Bisping lands a good right hand. Hendo with a right hand. In close Hendo lands a knee to the body. Bisping going upstairs with a head kick.
Jab lands for Bisping, ducks away from a counter then lands a right and a kick in there too. Better work from him.
Henderson swing and a mis swith a right hook. Jab lands for Bisping, then a hook and a straight. Hendo misses with an uppercut, but lands a leg kick.
Hendo lumbers forward and Bisping tags him with a jab, but Hendo punches him again in close range.
Hendo coming forward and shoves Bisping to the mat. He tries to land ground and pound, but Bisping is able to get back up and back to striking range.
Head kick for Bisping is partially blocked, then a couple of punches. Henderson tries for a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Another high kick for Bisping. Right hand lands. Right for Henderson.
10 seconds and Bisping lands a big flying knee to the head. Henderson with a forward front roll kick that doesn’t pay off, and that’s it, we’re headed to the judges for a decision.
So, Bisping controlled significant portions of this fight with his technical striking and forward pressure, but the biggest moments in the fight undoubtedly belonged to Hendo who dropped ‘The Count’ in each of the opening two rounds with that big right hand.
Here we go, the judges have rendered their decision, and it’s unanimous, and it’s Michael Bisping who’s retained his title (48-47 x2, 49-46).
Henderson confirmed that he will be retiring after the fight, and joked that he wished the fight had been judged by the damage on the two fighters faces. If that was the case then he’d have won by a country mile as Bisping’s face is a bloody, swollen mess.
Nevertheless, ‘The Count’ did have the better quality work over the fight as a whole, and he’ll no doubt be relived to finally have avenged that infamous UFC 100 loss at last.