Cold, hard cash might be the solution to stop Dan Henderson from retiring at UFC 204.
The former Pride FC and Strikeforce champion has made public through various media outlets that he's retiring after his title bout with Michael Bisping at UFC 204 in Manchester, England. Recently Champions caught up with the former Olympic wrestler, who talked about possibly continuing fighting, getting the phone call to fight Bisping despite his ranking, and much more.
"They [UFC] had called me and said that they were considering it [the fight with Bisping] and within a couple of weeks, maybe at the end of June or something like that, they had told me that, and I said absolutely I would do it," Henderson said.
The 46-year-old middleweight says he was surprised he got the call to fight Bisping for the title, but was happy to be the one chosen to challenge for gold.
"I was obviously surprised, but happy to hear about that," Henderson said. "Yeah, I didn't even think they would consider it, even though there was so many fans out there asking for it, so I'm just happy that it got put together."
Henderson will be attempting to seize the only major championship belt in MMA that has ever eluded him in his career, and it will be in enemy territory, yet he says that won't be an issue come fight night.
"No, it really doesn't bother me at all," Henderson explained. "The fight happens in an octagon, the same one I'm used to train in. Everything else is just distractions that don't really matter."
The first time Henderson faced Bisping, it was at UFC 100, a little over seven years ago. That fight remains one of the most memorable moments in MMA, as Henderson scored one of the most devastating knockouts and followed it up with a flying punch. He says it's likely he can recreate that scene one more time.
"It's more than likely," Henderson said. "I did it before I fought him, against Wanderlei, and maybe one or two other guys, just to make sure they're done. It's the quickest way I know how to get from point A to point B, to jump on them. I'll absolutely finish up with a punch or two if I knock him down, to make sure the fight is over. There is no ill will there, you know. I don't wish him any permanent harm or anything, I just want to make sure that I win the fight."
Henderson is pretty set on retiring at UFC 204, since he's 46 years old and has been fighting since 1997, but says a few extra zeros on his paycheck could make him rethink his decision.
"I'm sure with a few extra zeros back there I would consider coming back," he said.
"But, at the same time, I was ready to be done [in] my last fight. With the opportunity to finish with a belt and be the world champ at the end of my career, I couldn't say no to that. When they offered me that, I told them that this will be my last one for sure, win or lose."