In just over 72 hours, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson will step into the Octagon in the main event of UFC 204 in Manchester, England to fight for the UFC middleweight championship.
In addition to the fight being a highly anticipated rematch of the pair’s UFC 100 scrap that saw Henderson pick up arguably one of the most iconic knockouts in MMA history, the fight will serve as Bisping’s first title defense after knocking out Luke Rockhold to win the belt in the main event of UFC 199 back in June.
Ahead of the fight, Bisping spoke during an interview with MMAWeekly, in which he discussed the pressure of not only successfully making his first title defense, but doing so against the man who knocked him out at UFC 100, and in Manchester:
“I wanted to be champion for a long time. I’ve achieved that. You want to be a defending champion, and now I’m doing it in my hometown. Of course there’s massive pressure. You don’t just want to be one and done. I don’t want to be a guy that wins the belt and then loses it. Nobody wants that.”
“I don’t want him to be the guy that beat me at UFC 100 that took the belt off of me. That brings pressure,” he said. “Fortunately, I thrive under the pressure.”
Bisping has been on a tear of the UFC’s middleweight division, going on a 4-fight win streak that has seen him defeat CB Dollaway, Thales Leites, Anderson Silva in the main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: London’ and most recently Luke Rockhold to win the UFC middleweight championship.
With a win over Henderson, Bisping would not only be able to avenge his UFC 100 loss to the MMA legend, but also cement his place as the UFC middleweight champion.
Do you think Bisping will be able to defeat Henderson, or will Hendo play spoiler and finish Bisping once again, claiming the middleweight championship and riding off into the sunset?