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Michael Bisping ‘would love’ rematch with Dan Henderson, yet also lured by superfight with GSP

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

When Michael Bisping upset Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, the UFC’s middleweight division took on a different look. Already in line for the winner (presuming it would be Rockhold) were names like Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, and Rockhold’s original opponent, Chris Weidman.

Yet Bisping knocked out Rockhold in one of the more memorable turn-of-events moments in UFC history. And now that he holds the title, new names have emerged. New storylines. New intrigue.

As for Bisping himself, Manchester’s own has definitive some ideas on what matchmaker Joe Silva might consider.

"Well, you know of course, I’m no spring chicken," he said during an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "I’m 37. It’s not like I’ve got 10 years ahead of me. There’s certain fights that I want, there’s certain people I’d like to get revenge on, and there’s certainly viable contenders. So there’s many different ways you can go and there are many ways you can look at things.

"Now I know Chris Weidman is bitching and getting on like a 12-year-old on Instagram and stuff, talking about me and directing insults at me and this and that. The fact of the matter is that Chris just lost to the guy that I just knocked out. He wasn’t scheduled to fight me, he was scheduled for a rematch with Luke Rockhold. So as far as I’m concerned, Chris Weidman needs to win a fight. Chris Weidman is out of the equation. Chris Weidman is coming off a loss, and unless you’re called Chael Sonnen you don’t get title shots coming off a loss."

Bisping casually tossed out Souza’s name, as the Brazilian has gone 6-1 since coming over from Strikeforce in 2013. And he talked, too, about a trilogy fight with Rockhold, if only dismissively.

"Jacare of course is a very, very viable contender," he said. "So he’s certainly in the running. A rematch with Luke Rockhold, again, I think Luke should rematch with Chris and then whoever wins that is probably the No. 1 contender. Yes me and Luke are one and one, but that first fight was two years ago and this rematch wasn’t even close. I knocked him out in three minutes. I knocked him out cold, so maybe Chris and Luke, they have the match that was scheduled and the winner of that is the No. 1 contender."

That’s when Bisping hit on a new name to the mix — new, but familiar.

"Of course, there’s been talk about Dan Henderson, which kind of came out of the blue," Bisping said. "Dan Henderson kind of tweeted it out, and Joe Rogan put a picture on Instagram, and that seems to be getting a lot of traction. Of course, that is a fight that I would love. There hasn’t been any kind of offer or anything like that, but that’s a fight that I would take because everybody knows about UFC 100, and Dan Henderson still has an image of him floating above my head while I’m knocked out as his logo. So, I would like to put him in his place."

Henderson knocked Bisping out six years ago at the milestone event at UFC 100, right before defecting to Strikeforce (where he eventually became the light heavyweight champion). Henderson, now 45 years old, also scored a violent knockout at UFC 199, his coming against Hector Lombard. At the time it seemed like it could be Hendo’s farewell fight, as his family joined him in the Octagon in his native Southern California.

Yet now Henderson appears to be eyeballing one more fight. And a rematch with Bisping has been a hot topic all of a sudden, even if it means scrambling the meritocracy a little bit to get it.

Bisping ultimately said he doesn’t care, but that his biggest desire was that his next fight be held in his native country of England.

"One thing I would like to do is defend the belt in the U.K.," he said. "I would love to defend the belt in Manchester later in the year."

Bisping also admitted that he’d be open to the idea of "superfights" should one present itself, in the range of Nick Diaz and the re-emerging figure of longtime welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre. Particularly the latter, whom shares the UFC all-time mark with 19 total wins in the Octagon.

Asked if a bout with St-Pierre had crossed his mind, Bisping lit up — and ultimately put forth a challenge.

"It kind of has now that you mentioned it," he said. "As you said, fighting Georges St-Pierre [would be] great, and of course for the title for who has the most wins in UFC history…I mean, that alone is a fantastic tagline and great promotion. And of course, the numbers would be fantastic with Georges St-Pierre, he’s a massive, proven draw, and at the end of the day we’ll try to generate as much money as possible.

"I do want to defend the belt, and I want to make as much money as I can in the process. So, I would certainly be open to sending Georges St-Pierre back to a movie set because that would be a fight I would definitely win and if Georges St-Pierre is listening, any time you fancy it, just be a man and sign on the dotted line and your return will be short-lived."

Bisping, who turns 38 next February, reiterated that he won’t refuse whoever the UFC puts in front of him.

"Whether it’s Georges St-Pierre, Dan Henderson, Jacare Souza — who ever it is, line them up and I’ll knock them down."