MANCHESTER, UK — Michael Bisping wasn’t scheduled to fight for the belt when the main event was announced for UFC 199 early in 2016.
In fact, when Chris Weidman withdrew due to injury, the Brit was not even deemed the deserving contender for the bout versus Luke Rockhold. The previous aside, his “destiny” was fulfilled all thanks to a left hook that rocked Rockhold’s world and stole the belt.
Although it didn’t win the middleweight championship of the world, 46-year old Dan “Hendo” Henderson also shook up the MMA world and had The Forum cheering when he knocked out Hector Lombard at UFC 199. Hurt badly, but persevering and surviving, Hendo rallied and finished his opponent before talking as though his career was finished and a ride into the sunset was imminent.
Funny how a title shot can change everything.
Thanks to a brutal KO victory that occurred over seven years ago at UFC 100, Henderson earned a rematch and opportunity to win UFC gold in what would be his last fight and Bisping’s first title defense.
Storybook endings don’t always happen in real life.
Despite hurting The Count and having two opportunities to end the bout in the first ten minutes, Henderson found himself gassed in the latter rounds, leading to his career ending in defeat.
“I know people spoke ‘oh he’s not No. 1 contender or anything’. This guy knocked me out cold. Worst knockout in UFC history,” said Bisping, who is 3-0 in 2016 and holds a four-fight win streak. “The jitters that I had this week, it’s all well and good having bravado but stepping in here, look at my face for crying out loud. You know what this guy can do. That took a lot of courage for me to do that.”
The two illustrated mutual respect with multiple glove touches before the start and in the beginning. Bisping cautiously approached the power of Henderson by working jabs early. Ironically, one left straight by the American popped the head back of his opponent and opened a cut around the nose. The Count, now bloodied, refused to deviate from his game plan and persisted to stay light on his feet to avoid getting caught by a big blow. As the first round grew older, the Brit enjoyed more success with a mixture of stand-up strikes. However, Hendo finally landed, and in a huge way, with a right hook that sent Bisping stumbling backward. In attack mode, Henderson pounced on the opposition and employed forearms and elbows, the latter of which dribbled Bisping’s head off the canvas. The Count was in serious trouble of being beaten in front of his nation. Fortunately for him, he escaped the barrage and survived the final forty seconds. He was bloodied, not beaten.
Between rounds, fans acknowledged the damage of Bisping. Underneath his left eye, a gaping red gash was present. Yet, just as against Anderson Silva earlier in the year, The Count was not finished despite blood pumping out of facial cuts. Immediately out of the break, he appeared revitalized while Henderson slowed in activity. A multitude of difference strikes landed for the Brit and gradually damaged Hendo. It was during Bisping’s surge that Henderson was actually struck by a groin shot without stoppage. The American was shocked by no cease in action and backpedaled against the edge of the cage trying to recover. Though, soon it was The Count who was once again in danger as Henderson drilled him with another right hook. He again jumped on top looking for the finish while Bisping cupped his hands around his opponent’s back in an act of desperation. Excellent wrist control was executed by the crowd favorite, sending the two to another five minutes.
“I want to say thank you to the fans for making this fight happen and thank you to Michael Bisping for giving me this opportunity, my last fight for the belt. I came up a little short but not bad for an old man! I wish they judged the fight on how you look after the fight.”
In the third round, Bisping changed levels with efficiency and employed better head movement. Similar to the second, the Brit continued to come at Henderson looking to increase his strike total. Because of the previous, Hendo was unable to find holes for his one-punch power and started eating strikes. Yes, Henderson landed some heavy punches with his bull rush style but none that affected Bisping significantly. Momentum was now beginning to shift.
Through the use of feints, Henderson attempted to combat the increased accuracy of Bisping’s strikes. However, it didn’t work. Bisping utilized a balanced combination of kicks and strikes from stand-up to score more points with the judges. Furthermore, his cardio showed in his movement and probing of the pocket. Then, a stoppage occurred. Henderson had once again been kicked in the groin, but this time to the knowledge of everyone, including the referee. As a result, an exhausted Hendo earned up to five minutes to recover. The Manchester crowd rained boos to the American as he tried to shake off the pain. They understood the benefit of a five-minute reprieve for a tired fighter. A rejuvenated Henderson found success against Bisping at the end of the round. More specifically, he reopened the cut under The Count’s eye and exploded a knee to his chin. We had ourselves a fight.
Five minutes remained in Dan Henderson’s UFC career when he became the more aggressive fighter. A series of hooks and knees sent Bisping gradually moving backward while more punches landed. Trying anything and everything, Henderson landed a knee in the clinch before cracking his opponent with a stinging hook that sent Bisping against the cage. Hendo showed his wrestling skills by shooting and landing a takedown. Moreover, he tried to take his opponent’s back but ultimately was unable to win the struggle. Precious seconds leaked off the clock as the two offered strikes until the very end. The final result was placed into the hands of the judges.
“That was the last time that anyone will see me fight live,” said Henderson, who ended his career with just three wins in his last ten fights. “I appreciate all the support throughout the years. Worldwide. I gave my heart and soul to this sport and fans like you, even though you booed me at the beginning of the night, made it worthwhile for me to keep competing year after year. I just absolutely love the sport.”
Michael Bisping defeats Dan Henderson via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.
Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”
Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”
Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”
Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”
With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”
Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.
Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:
Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)
By Ieuan Thomas.
Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219
Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.
Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.
Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.
After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 23, 2017
Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.
With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:
Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout
*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results
Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC hosted their eighth PPV card of this year as fans were treated to UFC 216.
The card was headlined by a Interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2). Ferguson entered the octagon holding the record for the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history (9). Beating top names such as Rafael Dos Anjos and Edson Barboza in the process.
#7 ranked Lee last fought in June of this year, earning the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Michael Cheisa by first round submission (rear-naked choke).
In the co-main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) was hoping to break the record for most consecutive title defenses as he faced Ray Borg (11-2). The record (10) was held by both Johnson and former middlweight champion, Anderson Silva.
Johnson and Borg were originally scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC 215 last month, but the title fight was cancelled a day before the event was supposed to take place, as Borg pulled out of the fight due to illness.
UFC 216 Official Results:
MAIN CARD – PAY PER VIEW – 10PM/7PM ETPT
- #2 Tony Ferguson (24-3) vs. #7 Kevin Lee (16-3) – For UFC Interim Lightweight Championship
- Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via SUB (triangle choke) Round 3 – 4:02
- (C) Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. #3 Ray Borg (11-3) – For UFC Flyweight Championship
- Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg via SUB (armbar) Round 5 – 3:15
- #2 Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1) vs. Walt Harris (10-6)
- Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Walt Harris via SUB (armbar) Round 1 – 1:05
- Mara Romero Borella (12-4) vs. Kalinda Faria (16-6-1)
- Result: Mara Romero Barella def. Kalindra Faria via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 1 – 2:54
- #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6-1)
- Result: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham declared a Majority Draw (29-29, 28-28, 28-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs Cody Stamman (15-1)
- Result: Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Bobby Green (23-8-1) vs. Lando Vannata (9-2-1)
- Result: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata declared a Draw (split) (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
- Marco Beltran (8-6) vs. Matt Schnell (10-4)
- Result: Matt Schnell def. Marco Beltrán via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 7PM/4PM ETPT
- #15 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1) vs. #11 John Moraga (18-6)
- Result: John Moraga def. Magomed Bibulatov via KO (punch) – Round 1 – 1:38
- #13 Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Brad Tavares (16-4)
- Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via Unanimous (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
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