Don't look now but there's a slim chance Dan Henderson has one more fight in him.
At UFC 204, Henderson challenged Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight championship, he lost a unanimous decision but one that many believed he should have won. Count himself among that group. Writing a post for Champions.co, Henderson admitted that upon re-watching the fight he is very upset with the decision.
"It's been a pretty mellow week since UFC 204, but I still haven't reconciled myself with the scoring the judges put forth for my fight with Michael Bisping. I finally got around to watching the video of it last night, and I'll admit, I'm pretty pissed about it. I was going to say frustrated, but that doesn't quite cover the range of feelings I've got right now.
"He just wasn't doing anything to me. He was throwing punches that weren't really landing or were just barely touching me. Most of the punches I was throwing were meant to hurt him, and obviously, they did. There was a big difference in our significant strikes. I think the definition of that needs to be spelled out better, because he didn't throw that many significant strikes.
"He didn't hurt me once... he really didn't do anything other than kick me in the balls, and then tried to capitalize on it when the ref didn't stop the fight for a recovery period."
According to FightMetric, Henderson was outstruck 119 significant strikes to 81. However, Henderson did score big knockdowns in both the first and second rounds as well as landing the only takedown of the fight, midway through the fifth round. The difference in effectiveness and damage of the strikes is why Henderson believes he should have gotten the decision.
"I absolutely felt that I won rounds one and two, and the fifth. I landed almost or as much as he did and I took him down in the fifth. Going into that last round, I felt that worst case, it would be a draw. I didn't want that. I wanted to win, so I went out there and poured it on, and I'm sure I did. That's how I felt that night, and even moreso after watching the video.
"I don't know what type of fight anyone's ever witnessed or been in, whether it be in a school yard, a professional arena or in a bar, where if one opponent looks like Mike did, if he looks like a guy that got his ass kicked...he probably did get his ass kicked. He'd probably be called by everyone the loser of the fight."
The big story line going into this fight was the impending retirement of Henderson. Henderson is a legend in the sport and after he knocked out Hector Lombard at UFC 199 he stated his intent to hang up the four ounce gloves forever. Then a groundswell of fan support swayed the UFC into giving Henderson a title shot for his swan song and despite coming unimaginably close to winning the title that night, Henderson closed the door on his storied career.
But now Henderson has cracked it back open, saying that he could potentially be persuaded into returning for a rubber match.
"If this fight had happened last year, and I hadn't decided to make it my retirement fight, the fans would have demanded a trilogy. Hell, I'm pretty pissed off right now, and for the right money, I'm pretty sure I could be talked into the rubber match, not that I think he would accept another invitation to get beat up again. At the same time, I'm content with what I've done and in knowing, if only in my heart, that I won that fight."
Considering the backlash that scheduling Bisping-Henderson II received among other middleweights, and a subset of the MMA community, it seems unlikely that the UFC with opt to run this one back for a third go around. However, after 204, UFC President Dana White suggested that there was a de facto "middleweight tournament" going on with the Chris Weidman-Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold-Ronaldo Souza fights which will decide Bisping's next challenger. If there really is a tournament, the winners of those two fights won't be able to fight in the ersatz "finals" until early next year, which could open up an opportunity for Bisping to have a third go around with Henderson in the mean time.
And perhaps that's something Bisping is interested in considering he wanted to finish Henderson to get revenge for his loss at UFC 100 but instead had to squeak out a decision. So says Henderson at least.
"The theme of this event was "vengeance," but Michael Bisping didn't get that. If anything, he got the exact opposite. He got wrecked, and dropped twice by the same punch he so desperately wanted to eradicate. I said it once, and I'll say it again—you can't change history."
For now, Henderson is retired and Bisping is on medical suspension with no immediate plans to fight. But if Joe Rogan posts on Instagram about it, well, crazier things have happened in MMA.
CTE. Jordan Parsons is the first MMA fighter to be diagnosed with CTE.
Trump card. Jon Jones went ham on Twitter last night, calling out other 205-pound fighters.
Sad TJ. Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt is being targeted for UFC 207 at the end of the year.
Wow. Kimbo Slice's son's Bellator debut has been postponed after his opponent missed weight by 17 pounds.
Fickle MMA Gods. I wrote about the upcoming UFC 205 card and all the things that can go wrong before it even gets here.
DJ doing the insider thing for Diaz-McGregor 2.
And since we did DC yesterday, here's Rumble Johnson w/ Robin Black.
Chael vs. Tito is not a fair fight on the mic.
Show the Art
Who is Jon Jones' PR person?
Hendo KO's Tito right now, right?
Never had the chance to fight either of these guys, rooting for my team quest buddy to handle business. https://t.co/DBLdbOc5Ms— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) October 20, 2016
@bjpenndotcom lol that's bullshit— michael (@bisping) October 20, 2016
Responding to a tweet from almost two weeks ago is top shelf petty. I respect that.
I'm not a business man, but that actually kinda makes sense to me if true.
I'd count it. Better than Jon Jones' attempt.
@sagenorthcutt I'm counting that!— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 20, 2016
One of those is not like the others.
Poor TJ. He's trying but he just doesn't have the talent for trash talk. Not all do.
Still no response to my bet, proves my point that @dominickcruz is a scared little bitch and trying to avoid this fight however he can. Can't just ignore this and expect it to go away, so run little bitch run little bitch, run. Say it with ya chest. #kevinhart Who wants to bet he tries to retire before fighting me again?! #100k #whereyouat @ufc @musclepharm
"Sambo Because if it was easy would be called Jiujitsu." Brilliant my brother from Dagestan.. You have a beautiful Jiujitsu... Opsss Sambo... May life bring you many victories.. Sambo porque se fosse fácil seria chamado jiujitsu. "brilhante meu irmão do Daguestão... Você tem um jiujitsu fantástico... opsss desculpa Sambo... Que a vida te traga muitas vitórias... самбо потому что если это был легко бы называться джиу-джитсу. "блестящий мой брат от dagestan .. вы иметь красивый джиу-джитсу ... opsss самбо... может принести вам жизнь много побед Repost from @khabib_nurmagomedov After good ground training with #BJJ #MMA legend @renzograciebjj I'm getting priceless experience training with this guy. Depois de um bom treino de chão Estou recebendo ensinamentos valiosos da experiência desse cara. @RenzoGracieBJJ После хорошей тренировки в партере с легендой #BJJ #MMA @renzograciebjj Каждый раз во время тренировки с ним, я получаю бесценный опыт. #TrainLikeaFighter @reebok #JiuJitsu #MMA #Brazil #Russia #USA
Brandon Vera (14-7-0) vs. Hideki Sekine (7-0-0); One Championship: Age of Domination, December 2.
Luis Henrique da Silva (12-0-0) vs. Paul Craig (8-0-0); UFC on Fox 22, December 17.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Pride FC held their first event outside of Japan, Pride 32, which was headlined by a non-title bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Mark Coleman which Fedor won by armbar. This night was also memorable because Robbie Lawler finished Joey Villasenor with a flying knee in 30 seconds.
RUN IT BACK! Bisping-Hendo 3. Do it, Dana. See just how mad you can make everyone.
Also, check out the piece in the extra-credit. I really enjoyed writing it and would love some feedback. Have a good weekend everyone and see you on Monday.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.