In a dramatic showdown Saturday night, defending UFC middleweight champion Michael Bipsing retained his title as he took revenge on Dan Henderson who had beat him in their last match in July 2009. Bisping, nicknamed “The Count,” now has the most number of wins in the history of UFC.
The fight, which lasted five rounds, was quite close. While Bisping landed more strikes overall (130, compared to Henderson’s 87) as well as the significant ones (119 vs. 81), Henderson had two knockdowns (one in the first round) and one takedown in his favor, as well as a lot more control time. But the 46-year-old American’s last fight was not destined to give him his last title as well.
Despite a weak start to the first round, Hendo quickly dominated it when he landed a solid hit with his right hand — the “H-bomb.” Bisping’s left eye was swollen shut after the pounding. The second round was far more tilted in Hendo’s favor, who controlled most of it. Bisping made adjustments in the third and fourth rounds to avoid Hendo’s counters, landing his hits and moving out of the way quickly. The fifth round was more or less even, even as the local Manchester boy put everything left in his reserves into it.
After 25 minutes, the 37-year-old Bisping eked out his win by unanimous decision on pair of scores: 48-47 and 49-46. The Count himself was more aware than anyone else of how close the fight had been.
“This man is incredible. He just kicked my ass. All the trash talking, you gotta respect that guy, he’s a legend,” he said after the fight.
Henderson, who officially announced his retirement once the fight was over, said: “Not bad for an old man. I wish they judged the fight on how you look after.”
Numerous UFC fighters paid their regards to Henderson after the fight.
Many others commented on the fight itself.