This is the last ride for a true legend of MMA.
On the weekend of UFC 200 Dana White confirmed the heavily rumored fight of Michael Bisping defending his middleweight championship against Dan Henderson in a rematch from their famous fight at UFC 100. Many suspected that should the fight take place, it would be the last stand of the former two division Pride champion who turns 46 in August. Yesterday in an interview with Severe MMA's Niall McGrath and Petesy Carroll on the Talking Brawls podcast, Henderson confirmed that, win or lose, this would indeed be his final MMA bout.
"That is my plan, win or lose I'm ready mentally to retire. My body could still probably go another two, three years but I've put it through enough. I'm ready to take it a little bit easier, but still be involved in mixed martial arts doing something a little bit different than fighting."
Henderson has been fighting in MMA since 1997 and is one of the most accomplished fighters the sport has ever seen. He won the Pride middleweight and welterweight championships, he was the last ever Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, and even won a UFC middleweight tournament back at UFC 17. Before that he was an accomplished Greco Roman wrestler, representing the United States at the Olympics twice, first in 1992 and then again in 1996. He almost qualified again in 2000 but was beaten in the finals of the trials by Matt Lindland who went on to win a silver medal. All told, Henderson has spent the last 25 years in gruelingly intense sports and now he says it is time to hang it up and be with his family.
"That's a big part of it. It's all they've ever known, I've been fighting for so long, before my kids were born. So they've sacrificed things as well...it'll be nice to be able to plan vacations further in advance from now on and spend more times with my kids and not having to be too tired and having to conserve my energy to go out and do things with them because I'm training."
Henderson's intent to retire also played a role in the creation of this fight; he's a fan favorite and a groundswell of support came from the community to get Henderson one last crack at UFC gold before he walks off into the sunset, aided by the champion Michael Bisping's desire to avenge his earlier loss to Henderson. Last week, Bisping told Luke Thomas that he wants to "pay him back" for the loss, which is something Henderson says can't happen.
"I'm sure the he wants that one back but that one he'll never get back. I think that one is instilled in the history books with some of the more favorite knockouts out there, but I'm hoping to add one more to it...I plan on doing everything in my power to beat his ass again."
The fight is expected to be officially announced sometime this week with the general belief that it will be the headliner for UFC 204 sometime in October or November in Manchester, England. It will be Bisping's eighth UFC fight in England, a place where he has never lost and the promise of his first title defense being on his home soil and giving him an opportunity to retire a fighting legend while avenging his most devastating defeat has gotten Bisping talking copious amounts of trash already, something Henderson warned him about before declining to banter back at the champ.
"There's that saying, be careful what you ask for, you might just get it. And this might be that thing with him...I don't need to say anything to him. He'll feel it later."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Results. UFC on Fox 20 happened on Saturday. Here are the results.
Shocking news. Neither Brock Lesnar nor Jon Jones will face a UFC fine for their positive drug tests.
Tithing. Joanna Jedrzejczyk thinks Mark Hunt should receive portion of Brock Lesnar's UFC 200 purse.
Genuinely wonderful.Cyborg Santos is going to help kids with the money received from his GoFundMe following his gruesome injury.
Murder was the case. Urijah Faber has some thoughts about PED usage in MMA.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Lando. Patrick Wyman of Bleacher Report interviewed Greg Jackson, Brandon Gibson, and Landon Vannata on how he almost upset the apple cart on short notice.
Chael saying he just got his bloodwork done to keep the option for a return open.
Highlights from Legacy 58 and the debut of Mackenzie Dern.
Tyron Woodley's training camp vid.
Nick is wise.
This series is growing on me.
Post fight show from the BE boys.
So did I.
That is a good fight if Ronda is coming back to challenge for the title. If not, either one of those women is a great challenger to Nunes.
Great potential title eliminator.
His return to USADA testing makes all the sense now.
If only the UFC was going to Oregon any time soon https://t.co/zioRmehAn2— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) July 24, 2016
The problem is none of the girls are as well rounded as me. I can wrestle, punch, and Jiu jitsu. I am an MMA fighter. #chuteboxe style— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) July 24, 2016
Luke is my hero.
Out with the old, in with the Ngannou, amirite?!?!?— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) July 24, 2016
The Diaz brothers were right, again pic.twitter.com/nAAvWz3iI5— Dave Madden (@DMaddenMMA) July 24, 2016
Dude fought at 185 2 weeks ago.
Ok, this is a bit out of hand. pic.twitter.com/K0UqixgA9Y— Josh Samman (@JoshSamman) July 24, 2016
Rough time to be a Jones.
Wow! This is bad man! https://t.co/2XKRhESD52— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 22, 2016
Shouldn't he be watching Anthony Macias train? (If you get this you're my favorite)
I'd love for this to be the commentary booth for a Fight Night card.
Man that weigh-in pic is just rough.
Talyor Lapilus (10-2-0) vs. Leandro Issa (13-5-0); UFC Fight Night 93, September 3.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: At Bellator 122, Andrey Koreshkov defeated Adam McDonough to win the Bellator season 10 welterweight tournament and earn a welterweight title shot. Also at this even, Brandon Halsey submitted Brett Cooper with an armbar to win the middleweight tournament and a shot at the middleweight title. Both men would go on to win each respective belts.
2015: T.J. Dillashaw knocked out Renan Barao to defend the UFC bantamweight championship in their rematch in the main event of UFC on Fox 16. In the co-main event, Miesha Tate secured a shot at the women's bantamweight championship by winning a unanimous decision over Jessica Eye.
Valentina Shevchenko is extra dope and at this point if the UFC doesn't create a women's flyweight division they are missing out on something magical. One of the big protests to opening up a flyweight division is that it would drain some of the talent from 135 and that may be true but that division is in turmoil already. I say bank on Rousey coming back and possibly establishing some semblance of order with Holm well out of contention now (and possibly even past her athletic peak) and open up 125. The 135 division will generate new talent to fill the gaps incurred so long as the UFC continues to support it, and then we can get Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the inaugural 125 belt and I might die from happiness. That fight burns with the white hot fire of a thousand suns.
Anyway, a new week has started and this one is the best. 201 is coming up and it looks to be better than 200 at least from a visceral enjoyment standard. The card is stacked with All-World Violence All Stars and I'm pumped about it. Have a good day M.Rmy, and see you tomorrow.
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.