Dan Henderson Set to Retire After Bisping Fight

Dan Henderson has revelealed that “win or lose” in his forthcoming bout with Michael Bisping for the UFC World Middleweight Title in Manchester at UFC 204, he will almost certainly retire from MMA.

Dan Henderson is one of the icons of mixed martial arts. The former Olympic wrestler made his debut in the sport in 1997, winning The Brazil Open, shortly before making his debut in the Octagon at UFC 17. It was in Japan, however, that he really made his name, fighting the biggest and best names in MMA history, winning both the PRIDE welterweight tournament and the Middleweight World Title.

Throughout several stints in the UFC, his most famous victory was probably his vicious knockout of Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping at UFC 100. It was the culmination of a bitter rivalry which began when the two men were opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. Bisping never forgot the loss, and when he won the title after stepping in as a late replacement against Luke Rockhold, he used the opportunity to request a fight with ‘Hendo’, and settle a seven year old score.

The final details are yet to be ironed out, but it is expected that Henderson and Bisping will clash for the title at UFC 204 in Manchester, near the Champions’ home-town of Clitheroe. It also turns out that it will be the final ever MMA fight of Henderson’s career, as he revealed to Niall McGrath on the Talking Brawls podcast:

“That is my plan, win or lose I’m ready mentally to retire. My body could still probably go another two, three years more. I’ve put it through enough. I’m ready to take it a little bit easier, but still be involved in MMA doing something a little bit different than fighting.”

If he were victorious that would mean he would retire as champion, a situation which may in fact be useful to the UFC who currently have a number of high-profile fighters at the top of the middleweight rankings, none of whom are best pleased they are being overlooked for The Count’s first title defence. A Henderson win would mean two contenders battling it out for the vacant belt.

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