This Saturday night will see Michael Bisping make his first defense of the UFC middleweight championship belt following his stunning KO victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Coming into the bout on 17 days notice, Bisping shocked the MMA world by dispatching the former champ in the first round with two vicious undefended strikes, before following Rockhold to the ground, causing the ref to intervene.
Although finally realizing his dream of becoming a UFC champion, there's always been one blemish on his career that the Mancunian has wanted to correct--the infamous knockout loss to Dan Henderson.
This weekend, at UFC 204, Bisping has the opportunity to avenge his loss in front of his home crowd in Manchester, England. However, there's one problem, Bisping could be facing a Dan Henderson that's never looked better, according to his striking coach Gustavo Pugliese.
With Michael Bisping shooting films in between training, Pugliese isn't entirely sure that the champ is ready to take on what he describes as an even more confident and motivated Dan Henderson. The MMA veteran has been preparing for this fight since July, and Pugliese hasn't seen the native Californian this motivated since his proposed bout with Jon Jones.
Pugliese is acutely aware that this could be the former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion's last fight. Although revealing that Henderson feels his body could withstand more fights, it's not so much a physical aspect, and is more of a mental one heralding the end of his illustrious career.
"Once we fly to England, we're going to keep the California time," offered Pugliese. "Throughout the week, we'll be sleeping during the day, and training around fight time, which will be around 5am in Manchester."
A family orientated man, Henderson is now at the stage of his career where he is looking to relax and enjoy time with his wife and kids, and he thoroughly deserves it. The first combatant to win Pride championships in multiple weight classes and simultaneously hold multiple Pride championships, and one of only two fighters to win tournaments in both Pride and the UFC, Dan Henderson has seen a career that has spanned nearly two decades.
Eager to go out with a bang, Dan Henderson will get his potential last shot at a UFC belt when he takes on Michael Bisping on October 8, 2016 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.