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Michael Bisping Enjoys Revenge on Dan Henderson in Unanimous Decision Victory and First Title Defense

Peyton Wesner

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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)


For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

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Bellator

Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator

Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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