UFC 204 will see Michael Bisping defend his Middleweight Championship for the first time against none other than Dan Henderson.
Both men are great fighters in their own right, and their career accomplishments have already qualified them to be considered legends in MMA. Both fighters also have a lot to gain from a win at UFC 204, and a loss would affect them to a similar degree, so they are definitely going to be bringing their A-games when Fight Night rolls around next month.
Along with the main event of UFC 204, there's also a few other notable match-ups on the main card that are definitely going to be entertaining to watch. We have the "Phenom" Vitor Belfort taking on Gegard Mousasi that same night, a match-up that could've even been a main event on its own, along with recent title challenger Ovince Saint Preux taking on fellow top-10 LHW Jimi Manuwa.
Here's a look at how the final UFC 204 card stacks up:
Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs. Michael "The Count" Bisping
The main event between Bisping and Henderson is almost guaranteed to be entertaining. For one, Bisping is taking on the first UFC title defense of his career, and shouldering all of the pressure that comes with that. Secondly, and perhaps just as importantly, "The Count" will be driven to make up for his loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100.
Bisping is going to want to avenge that loss to Hendo — but will their bout at UFC 204 turn out like their previous fight, with Hendo knocking Bisping out in the 2nd Round? Henderson has already knocked Bisping out once before, viciously at that, so he's likely going into this rematch with a lot of confidence.
However, there's undoubtedly a lot of pressure on Henderson as well. Despite being a multidivisional champion in Pride a needs to fight like it's his last title shot ever — because it very likely is. Let's face it, Henderson is still an outstanding fighter, but at 46 years old, he might not have what it takes to cut in the top tier of the middleweight division anymore.
How do you see Bisping and Henderson stacking up? Does Henderson have the momentum of his previous win over Bisping? Or do you think Bisping has too much to lose to not avenge his previous loss?
Michael Bisping or Dan Henderson?
Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort vs. Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi
Vitor Belfort is another fighter whose place in the top 10 of the middleweight division might be in jeopardy. He's currently ranked at #5, but after a big loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC 198; Belfort needs to make up for it with a win at UFC 204. If not, the 39-year-old Belfort will likely find himself out of title contention for quite some time.
Belfort still has a lot of fight in him, but does he have what it takes to remain in the top 5 of the middleweight division?
As for Gegard Mousasi, he has a good two-win streak going, and a win over Vitor Belfort would definitely see him rise through the ranks of the UFC. Mousasi's most recent loss came at the hands of up-and-coming star Uriah Hall in 2015, so he doesn't have too many recent losses to atone for. However, a defeat at the hands of Vitor Belfort may end Mousasi's current run in the top 10. Mousasi is currently ranked at #9 in the middleweight division.
How do you see Belfort and Mousasi stacking up at UFC 204? Will Belfort put a stop to Mousasi's win streak or will a loss at UFC 204 have Belfort reconsidering how much time he has left in the UFC?
Vitor Belfort or Gegard Mousasi?
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jimi Manuwa
On the main card, we also have recent title challenger Ovince Saint Preux taking on Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight match-up. Both fighters stand to gain substantially from a win at UFC 204, but Manuwa definitely needs the win if he wants to remain in the UFC top rankings.
On paper, Saint Preux isn't looking so good right now with his checkered fight history, but after looking at his recent history a little closer, Saint Preux has only lost to three of the best of light heavyweights in the division in his last 10 fights: Ryan Bader, Glover Teixiera and Jon Jones, all fighters who would give anyone a run for their money.
Saint Preux has dominated everyone else; he just needs a win over Jimi Manuwa to make his dominance in the division known. Saint Preux may have a ways to go to reach the top of the light heavyweight division as he sits at #5 in the UFC, but he'll cut through the rankings a lot quicker with a win at UFC 204.
As for Jimi Manuwa, he hasn't been in the Octagon since 2015, and his last bout ended when he was knocked out by Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, so he is definitely looking to make up for lost time with a win at UFC 204. It will also determine whether Manuwa's time away has benefited him, or if ring rust will slow his career down.
How do you see Manuwa and Saint Pruex stacking up? Will Saint Preux prove once again why he deserves to be in the top tier of the light heavyweight division, or will Jimi Manuwa return to the UFC with a surprising upset?
Ovince Saint Preux or Jimi Manuwa?
Stefan Struve vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
The tallest fighter in the UFC returns to competition, following a 16-second knockout win against Antonio Silva in May. Struve is facing Daniel Omielańczuk, replacing Ruslan Magomedov, who dropped out due to a staph infection. This will be Omielańczuk's first UFC PPV appearance since 2013, but in those three years he's gone 3-2 on various Fight Night cards.
Will Struve be able to rise in the UFC rankings once again? Or will Omielanczuk use a win over Struve to make a statement to the rest of the Heavyweight division in the UFC?
Stefan Struve or Daniel Omielanczuk?
Mirsad Bektic vs. Arnold Allen
Both of these fighters are fairly new to the main card portion of UFC events, so they are both going to be expected to make an impression to avoid returning to the prelims in their next fights. Which of these rising UFC fighters will rise victorious on October 8th?
Mirsad Bektic or Arnold Allen?
UFC 204: Henderson vs. Bisping 2 is scheduled for October 8, 2016.
The full PPV card for the event currently stands at:
- Michael Bisping (c) vs. Dan Henderson
- Vitor Belfort vs. Gegard Mousasi
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jimi Manuwa
- Stefan Struve vs. Daniel Omielańczuk
- Mirsad Bektic vs. Arnold Allen