Michael Bisping Versus Dan Henderson 2: Why a Rematch May Make Sense

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Attitude is everything, or so the saying goes, and if there is one fighter in the UFC that is positively brimming with attitude it would be Michael Bisping, winner of season three of The Ultimate Fighter.  

Since winning the TUF crown, “The Count” has put together a record of 11-4 and found himself firmly ensconced among the top ten fighters in the UFC’s middleweight division. However, the first thing that pops into one’s head when they hear the name Michael Bisping isn’t his victories or his standing in the 185-pound division, it’s the brutal knockout that he suffered at the hands of Dan Henderson at UFC 100.

The knockout punch was devastating, a perfectly placed right hand to the chin that left Bisping falling to his back unconscious. However, Henderson was not content to walk away from the supine Bisping, as he followed the knockout blow with a diving right to the jaw of his downed opponent, adding an exclamation point to the violent stoppage.  

The ending to the fight remains one of the top “oh sh**t” moments in the history of the UFC, a knockout that is burned into the mind of every fan that has ever witnessed it. It’s also a fight that Bisping has been unable to forget, perhaps because fans seem to find great joy in reminding him of the loss,

“Without a shadow of a doubt, the fight that I want to have again is Dan Henderson,” Bisping told Jon Anik in a recent edition of Fuel TV’s UFC Ultimate Insider. “That’s the one that haunts me, that’s the one that still, I go to my Twitter every day and there’s people, ‘hey Bisping, check this out' and I click on it and it’s a picture of me getting knocked out.”

Bisping is slated to face Brian Stann on September 19 when the UFC heads to Toronto for UFC 152. Bisping has been very vocal in informing anyone that will listen that he believes a win against Stann should earn him a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, but is that a fight that will move the needle for MMA fans or Silva?  

At this point Silva seems interested in only competing in big fights, and I just don’t see Bisping being one of those big fights. Sure he has a nice name and will pull some fans, but with a potential Silva versus Georges St-Pierre fight being bandied about for some time in 2013, it’s likely that Bisping may never get a shot at UFC gold.

And while Bisping may not be a fan of that fact, it wouldn’t bother me all that much if that fight never happened.

A much more intriguing bout would be a rematch between Bisping and Henderson. The timing would be right for this fight no matter the outcome of Bisping’s upcoming fight with Stann. Henderson is currently on the mend from an MCL injury that forced him from a scheduled fight against Jon Jones on the subsequently scrapped UFC 151 card, and with Bisping fighting on September 22, the fight may be worth considering.

One sticking point may be the fact that Henderson has said he is not all that interested in fighting at middleweight again as the weight cut is not something he enjoys. That sticking point could be overcome by making the fight at catchweight, don’t forget when Bisping won TUF he fought at light heavyweight.  

Some will counter that Henderson should get his missed shot at Jones, but by the time Henderson is ready to fight again the light heavyweight landscape may look a bit different than it does today. I know it’s a long shot, but Jones could fall to Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.

Not only that, but Alexander Gustafsson may see his stock rise if he is able to soundly defeat Mauricio Rua in December and let’s not forget Chael Sonnen will also face Forrest Griffin in December. Oh yeah, and then there is Lyoto Machida hanging around out there without a current fight. In short, there are a lot of moving parts to consider in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Henderson versus Bisping would be a an easy sell for the UFC, the two did not like each other at all while coaching opposite teams during the U.S. versus U.K season of TUF and both fighters have a strong base of support.  It may not be the grudge match it was in 2009, but both fighters would have more than a win on their record on the line in a rematch.

Bisping has been lobbying for this rematch for quite a while. It may be time to make it happen.

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