The speculation over Michael Bisping‘s first defence as UFC World Middleweight Champion may be about to come to an end with reports from Brazil claiming there is a verbal agreement with Dan Henderson for the two to fight in Manchester in October.
A host of top middleweight contenders are set to be disappointed if reports coming from Brazil’s Combate website are to be believed. They claim that the Englishman is to get his wish to face old foe Dan Henderson in Manchester, just 30 miles from his home town of Clitheroe in the North West of England this October, and that the two are just waiting to put pen to paper.
Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman and even Yoel Romero will be frustrated that the 13th ranked 43 year-old ‘Hendo’ will be afforded the title shot ahead of them, but it seems the service Bisping has given the promotion over the past 10 years- as well as the hype the fight would generate- have tipped the balance in the Champion’s favour.
Bisping and Henderson clashed almost constantly as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, and when they finally stepped into the Octagon at UFC 100 in 2009, Hendo handed Bisping his first KO defeat, before landing a sickening blow to the Brit’s unconscious body before the referee could stop the fight. Ever since then Bisping has wanted to take revenge, and he now looks set to get his chance.
Henderson, at 43, is considered one of the legends of the sport and is a former PRIDE champion, but has never held a belt in the UFC. The former Olympian is almost certainly close to retirement, and would surely relish the chance to end his career as a World Champion.