Michael Bisping is going all in on the Dan Henderson fight.
All this week the speculation has been about Henderson being the first title challenger for the newly minted UFC middleweight champion. Bisping has made it known that he would like a chance to avenge his previous loss to Henderson, but yesterday he cranked it up a few notches, calling out Henderson in multiple, trash-talk filled interviews.
"Dan Henderson is a guy that actually does interest me," Bisping told the Jay and Dan on Fox Sports Live. "He obviously has a great knockout victory over me back in the day and he's gonna retire soon so I want to get revenge for that loss before he retires. He was on testosterone replacement therapy in that fight. I didn't even know that existed. Dan, you're a cheat. Let's do it anytime you want, you old [undiscernible expletive].
"He knocked out the posing dwarf, Hector Lombard. So if you want to come and try it - hey buddy, lightning doesn't strike twice so if you're interested sign on the dotted line you old piece of shit."
Of course, Henderson wasn't actually cheating according to the rules at the time. Henderson was one of the first adopters of TRT in MMA which wasn't banned until 2014. Henderson began using it in 2007 which dramatic results. In his early career, some fans had adopted the derisive nickname of "Decision Dan" for Henderson because of his penchant for winning highly disputed, and very boring decisions. After he began using TRT, Henderson viciously knocked out Wanderlei Silva to win the Pride middleweight championship and his career became defined by his massive power punching. Most of Henderson's biggest highlights were accomplished with the help of the synthetic hormone, including his victory over Bisping.
While Henderson's TRT usage has been managed to go relatively overlooked by most of the MMA community (especially in comparison with someone like Vitor Belfort), Bisping clearly hasn't forgotten it. When Henderson knocked Bisping unconscious, he followed up with an enormous, leaping forearm to the prone Bisping, a shot some thought was cheap but most thought was awesome (Henderson now uses the image as a personal logo). After the fight, Henderson said that the extra shot was "to shut Bisping up a little bit." Now, Bisping wants to do the same to Henderson.
"Dan Henderson is somebody that I would like to shut up," Bisping told TMZ Sports. "I owe him one, he knocked me out in the past. I know that guy is on borrowed time. He's an old man but he's still got that knockout power so before he goes, before he walks off into the sunset and retires, I owe him a knockout. That would be fun...
Henderson is gonna die soon so I might as well knock him out. I might as well put him in the grave."
Aside from trash talking Henderson, perhaps the most interesting aspect of these interviews was Bisping's revelation that GSP's camp had contacted him about a fight.
"I actually has some people reach out to me saying, ‘Georges St. Pierre is interested in fighting you,' and I was like, ‘really?'" Bisping told Fox Sports Live. "It was something that I didn't expect. Some people from his camp...Tell him to sign on the dotted line - just like Henderson - if he wants to come out of retirement."
St. Pierre has been rumored to be returning to the UFC for months now. Most expect him to eventually return but who he would fight has always been the question. The two most obvious fights are current UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and long time sought after superfight opponent, Anderson Silva. While Bisping did float a GSP superfight earlier this week, the fact that St. Pierre's people reached out to Bisping means this fight should now be given some serious credence. In the past when talking about the possibilty of moving up in weight to face Silva, St. Pierre always said he would like to take time off to put on the weight properly. Perhaps he has been doing just that the past few years and a money fight title shot is looming.
Adding the GSP reveal may irk some fans already unhappy with the seemingly inevitable Henderson fight, who are up in arms over Bisping's apparent lack of concern over fighting one of the more meritorious challengers - namely Jacare Souza. To this complaint, Bisping responds in thoroughly Bisping fashion.
"But don't worry," he told TMZ sports. "I will take them all on. I plan on having that belt for a long time so Weidman, Rockhold again, Jacare, whoever the hell you are, line them up and I will knock them down.
His next opponent may not be certain but one thing is for sure, Michael Bisping is definitely not a dull champion.
You can watch the two interviews below.
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2010: Ben Askren won the Bellator welterweight season 3 tournament by defeating Dan Hornbuckle via unanimous decision at Bellator 22. The win was Askren's sixth professional one and set him up for a title shot against Lyman Good.
And so ends another week of the MR. For the most dire of fight heads, this weekend should be great. We get to watch Rory and Wonderboy fight for the next title shot, the Bellator main event is a fun fight, and in just a few hours we get to watch the heavyweight GOAT just Fedor all over Fabio Maldonado.
Also, bet you didn't know that there is a WSOF card this weekend too! It's like they intentionally put their fight cards at the worst possible times. With so much other, much better MMA going on this weekend, WSOF is certain to get lost in the shuffle. Anyway, be easy kids and enjoy your weekend. Until Monday, M-Rmy.
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.