UFC fighter Dan Henderson has hinted of his pending retirement and rumors are swirling that the 45-year-old mixed martial artist wants his last ride inside the Octagon to be billed against middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Both Henderson and Bisping have crossed each other’s paths back in UFC 100 in July of 2009. During this event, Henderson scored a knockout punch victory over Bisping in the second round of the middleweight title eliminator bout. Since Bisping currently holds the middleweight belt, Henderson wants a grand exit from the sport with a bid for the title.
It would also be a big fight for Bisping as he will get a chance to avenge his 2009 loss while also defending his title against the man whom he failed to score a rematch against after their first meeting. Speaking with Nick Peralta of MMA Outsider, Henderson stated that fighting Bisping would be his retirement fight. Moreover, he wants to close his MMA career with a bang.
“(Fighting Bisping) is definitely something that I would do. But it would definitely be my last fight for sure. Win or lose. I’m obviously confident that I would win, but win or lose I would make that my retirement fight,” Henderson said.
Henderson admitted that he is in the twilight of his career in the UFC. With his age, he stated that his mind tells him he can still fight but his body is telling him otherwise. So the thought of locking it out with Bisping proves as the match to make, wherein he strongly thinks he can win again over the British fighter.
“I don’t know how much (longer) I want to fight, it all depends on who they offer me. I’d be interested in maybe one more fight. I’m pretty close to being done though and I asked my fans the other day who do you want me to fight in my last fight and like 99% of them said, Bisping. So that’s what I hope happens because that’s who the fans want to see me fight,” Henderson explained.
He added that he watched Bisping fight Luke Rockhold in UFC 199 and saw Bisping improve a “little in a way.” His take on the fight was that Bisping was playing out his plan while Rockhold just fell for the trap set by the British fighter, who scored a stunning first round knockout to claim the title. Henderson adds that Bisping has improved in little ways in his fighting, which makes him hope that their fight would be booked sooner by UFC president Dana White.
“He’s always been the same way. He’s, of course, well-rounded, he’s always in shape. He always tries to outpoint people. I think in this last fight with Luke Rockhold, he landed punches right where he needed to…Obviously, he has improved in little ways. But I think the one right now that makes the most sense. Him winning that title has given me the (motivation) to want to fight him again. I didn’t have any reason (before), I wouldn’t be able to knock him out any better or more exciting than I did the first time. Now with him having the belt, that gives me a reason and gives him the reason as far as being able to get some redemption,” Henderson stated.
Bisping has also expressed his interest in granting the fight with Henderson and wants the fight to happen in London. But Henderson has other plans and would want the fight to happen at the Madison Square Garden in New York City as reported by Cagewriter Andreas Hale.
“If I got the opportunity to [fight Bisping] we could do it anywhere. Obviously closer to home would be better – even the first time in Madison Square Garden would be neat – but it doesn’t matter to me,” Henderson said.
Now that both Henderson and Bisping are on the same page, it will be up to their agents to work things out with White and the top officials of the UFC to make the fight happen and grant Henderson his retirement fight.
Photo Courtesy: Dan Henderson @danhendo/Instagram