Twenty years, multiple titles at three different weight classes and a legendary career all ends here with a UFC Middleweight shot for Dan Henderson.
"I felt like I did a great job preparing for my last fight and it's one of the most important fights I've had," Henderson said today at the UFC 204 Q&A session.
"I feel good, I feel young, mentally I'm probably younger than he is. I feel like I'm a young boy doing what I love to do. Every day in practice, I just love getting in there and testing myself in that way," Henderson said. "So, I don't think age is going to be a factor at all. If anything, I've experienced that much more things in life, and in the Octagon, than he has and it is to my advantage."
Throughout the appearance, Henderson reflected on his career and his biggest knockouts. He also made it a point of insisting that—win or lose—he will retire from the sport. Henderson's language seems to illustrate that as well; and we're hearing him speak in a way that he's never done before.
"For us to be fighting each now I think we had to both have spectacular wins that night, and I think we both did. Somebody upstairs wanted this fight to happen again, and I'm just thankful for that opportunity to be able to end my career with this type of a fight for the belt," Henderson said. "I just don't want to waste this chance, to be able to walk away accomplishing the last goal in the sport that I have to achieve."
As Henderson's career nears its end, Bisping rising from the ashes like a phoenix, sends their paths on a collision course one more time. Surely, Bisping sees this as his destiny, but Hendo has another prophecy.
"I think his destiny was to win that belt so he could give it to me. He may not be awake when he gives it to me, but he's gonna give it to me," Henderson said.
Watch the full Q&A from today below and see history unfold this Saturday in Manchester, England.