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UFC 204: Bisping vs Hendo 2


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The rematch 7 years in the making comes t't Manchester on October 8th...





Michael Bisping vs Dan Henderson - Middleweight Title

Vitor Belfort vs Gegard Mousasi

Ovince Saint Preux vs Jimi Manuwa

Stefan Struve vs Daniel Omielanczuk

Mirsad Bektic vs Russell Doane



Brad Pickett vs Iuri Alcantara

Davey Grant vs Damian Stasiak

Albert Tumenov vs Leon Edwards

Lukasz Sajewski vs Marc Diakiese



Danny Roberts vs Mike Perry

Leonardo Santos vs Adriano Martins


Incase anyone missed it, this will take place early hours UK time so it can be aired in prime time on PPV in America. The prelims are kicking off at 11pm on the Saturday night as far as I can tell. The PPV main card gets underway at 3am here.


I know I'm early with this thread but with it being a big 'un for the UK and a lot of you will probably be going, I thought it warranted chucking this one together now. As always, I'll edit this post as the card takes shape and fills up.


I was really hoping to get to this but the timing's all to cock and I'll be in Vancouver when this one's going down. Anyway, who's going? Is there going to be a UKFF meet up? Speculate on what fights might still be added etc.




I'm way more excited about Bisping vs Hendo 2 than I probably should be in 2016. What of it? I never really expected this rematch to ever happen, to be honest. Much less that it'd be for the UFC middleweight title! It's like some MMA alternate universe shit. Nobody would've ever called it.


Michael 'The Count' Bisping has had a fucking fairytale 2016. This time last year, if someone predicted the way Bisping's next 12 months would go you'd have mocked them. He's shattered all the doubts this year for me. I'm done doubting him anyway. He's won two fights this year that I was so confident he'd lose that I'd have bet my ballbag on it. Thankfully I didn't get to William Hill in time to put that bet on.


He beat Anderson Silva in a 5 round war in London in February. Easily one of the best fights of the year and he got the W against arguably the greatest fighter MMA has ever seen. Granted, Anderson's far from his best but I still never expected Bisping to win that one at all. He showed ridiculous heart to win that fight as well. He was battered, his face was cut to ribbons and he was practically knocked out after the second round ended by a flying knee on the buzzer. But he gutted it out and took the decision.


Oddly, he was then booked to fight Aussie Robert Whittaker. A good fighter but an odd matchup to make for a guy coming off beating Anderson Silva. Then it happened. Chris Weidman got injured (as he does) and pulled out of his rematch with Luke Rockhold. Bisping got the call to take the fight on about a week's notice. He jumped all over it.




And knocked Rockhold out inside a round!


For someone who was always considered a bit of a weak puncher (weak as piss, one might say), he chose the perfect time to land that one in a million perfect punch. He caught Rockhold early with a left hook flush on the jaw and never let the smarmy prick recover. It was magnificent. Splendid even.




Michael Bisping - UFC champion. I still can't believe it. He was always a really good fighter but he just seemed destined to always be the bridesmaid. He was to the UFC what Tim Henman was to Wimbledon. Good but not quite good enough. He'd get your hopes up, but fall at the final hurdle all the time. Everything just clicked for him this year though. A whole decade after he won TUF 3, he'd finally won the big one.


But a ghost from Bisping's past was lurking on the undercard...




Dan 'Hendo' Henderson at 46 years old, in a fight he was expected to get slaughtered in, knocked Hector Lombard out cold in one of the most stunning knockouts of the year. He was coming into the fight having lost 6 of his previous 8 fights and the calls for him to retire were coming in increasingly.


For him to score that KO on the same night Bisping finally won the title, it's like it was just meant to be. There's been some backlash to Hendo getting this title shot. Looking at his record over his last say 10 fights, I can see why. But the timing has just lined up. All the other top contenders are either injured or coming off a bad loss. And no other fight has the promotability or backstory this one has. Basically, deal with it.


It was UFC 100 in July 2009 when Henderson and Bisping last fought. They'd coached TUF 9: Team USA vs Team UK and Bisping was constantly needling Hendo throughout the buildup. Hendo, being maybe the most laid back badass ever, didn't really respond. He saved that for the fight.














Probably the most replayed, photoshopped, gif'd, talked about KO in MMA history. If MMA was a big enough deal for its moments to be considered 'iconic', this would be the iconic knockout.


Bisping talked about the KO recently and it's still a sore subject;


"I fought Dan Henderson in 2009 and I lost and that was at UFC 100. UFC 100 was the biggest PPV the company's ever done. 1.6 million PPV buys, watched all over the world, and of course I get knocked out cold after talking lots of smack leading up to the fight. So I got my just desserts in that one."


"After the fight, I don't remember anything. I remember being in the showers and I didn't have a clue what was going on. I was saying to my manager at the time, 'I can't be knocked out 'cause I'm not fighting for another two months. What the hell are you talking about?' and then these people come and go 'Michael, we need to take you to the hospital.' I'm like I'm not going to the hospital and then I'd say again, 'what's going on?' I'd just keep repeating myself."


"In my mind I thought I was there to corner somebody and I had been convinced to step in on short notice to fight. That's what was going on in my head. I was like 'why have I fought tonight? I'm not supposed to fight for another two months!"


"Eventually they coerced me into the ambulance and we're rolling to the hospital and after a while it kind of dawned on me."

Scary stuff.


Since then they've both had their ups and downs. That's putting it mildly. But that just makes this rematch all the more interesting to me. I get why a lot of the immediate rematches happen in MMA but I still think it's better when you have a rematch like this where it's years in the making and they've both been through some shit in the meantime.


Hendo has already confirmed that this Bisping rematch will be his last fight win or lose as well. Whether he sticks to that is anyone's guess but hopefully he will. I can't think of a better way for him to go out than this. Especially if he wins, obviously.


"That is my plan, win or lose I'm ready mentally to retire."


"My body could still probably go two, three years more. I've put it through enough. I'm ready to take it a little bit easier, but still be involved in MMA doing something a little bit different than fighting." - Dan Henderson


Bisping, who has been maybe the most vocal anti-PED figure in the sport, is expecting Hendo to cheat...


"I think he's gonna cheat because he's gonna think, 'Screw it. If I get suspended, so what, I'm retiring anyway."


"I plan on putting a beating on Dan Henderson that people won't forget in a long, long time. He knocked me out at UFC 100, and when I was unconscious, flew through the air and delivered a forearm smash that could have left me severely brain damaged. I owe that guy, big time."


"He's still very, very dangerous. He's a tough opponent but, make no mistake, I'm gonna smash him to bits. That guy will never even think about walking into the Octagon again." - Michael Bisping


Bisping vs Hendo 2 promo...




I seriously can't wait for this. I wish I was going. Logic says Bisping should win this. He's in the better form, he's flying high coming off the title win, he's got more tools as a striker, better cardio, he's more mobile. The list goes on. But Hendo showed against Lombard that he's still got that power, even after being dropped and hurt. I wouldn't write him off.




I hope Hendo wins. As shit as it would be to see Bisping's reign end on his first defence, let's face it, Bisping as UFC champ was never going to be a long term thing, was it? And I really want to see Hendo finally get that elusive UFC title then ride off into the sunset.




Belfort vs Mousasi could be incredible if they're both up for it. You know what you're getting with Belfort. You'll always get a fast and violent start, it depends how the opponent deals with it a lot of the time. And Mousasi can be hot and cold. I've got a feeling Vitor is going to catch him early for some reason. I guess Mousasi is the more likely winner at this point but I see Belfort blitzing him early.




OSP vs Manuwa should be good. Two dangerous 205ers who are kind of going nowhere but they should match up well. Manuwa's power is something to behold but I like OSP here. He's the more well rounded fighter as far as MMA skills go. He's got more ways to win, I reckon.




Struve vs Magomedov is just kind of there but it could be decent. I like Struve but he's not looked great for a while. His claim to fame is his KO win over current UFC heavyweight king Stipe Miocic in 2012. But he's been patchy since. In fact his only wins since then were over the completely shot versions of Big Nog and Bigfoot. Magomedov has a decent record at first glance of 14-1 but his best wins are Shawn Jordan and the shells of Tim Sylvia and Ricco Rodriguez. And he couldn't finish any of them. Don't really know what to make of this one. Struve's always game though so he should keep it alive.




Pickett vs Alcantara is my ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Really like this fight. I think Alcantara's a little bit underrated and Pickett's very rarely in a dull fight. I fancy Alcantara to win this one. He's a tricky fucker at the best of times and Pickett was hinting at retirement not long ago so I don't know if his head's fully in it anymore.


Good card so far.


OK let's get talking 204. If Bisping wins this he's surely got Fighter Of The Year sewn up, right? He's got a strong case on the Anderson and Rockhold wins alone but if he successfully defends his belt, in Manchester, against the man who handed him his worst defeat...it's a wrap. No-one's topping that this year.



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I was considering going. A close friend is moving to Manchester next month, and would have probably been up for it. Sadly, money and work commitments have ruled me out. This is the biggest UFC event on our shores in a decade. Bisping's entrance is going to be something to behold. Perhaps even Ricky Hatton levels of atmosphere. 

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I'd be all over this if the main event wasn't scheduled to start at 5am....


I'm hopeful that Marc Diakiese gets added to the card. He trains BJJ where I do occasionally, and he's just signed for the UFC a few weeks ago.


Also hopeful for Scott Askham to be added to the card. I'd like to see these Doncaster lads do well!

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Yeah if it wasn't at stupid o'clock i'd be all over it. 

Hoping for a Bisping win. Hendo doesn't do much for me. I came in and missed his prime and prior to his win at 199 he had a 5 round war taking his t-shirt off at the weigh in. Famous last words but his got to be done.

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The dates just to early for me starting Uni and that so puts me out of going to, gutted. Should be a great night though.

Bispings got this one for me.


Trust me Sean, fuck all happens at Uni in the first few weeks. It's all intro to modules, meeting tutors, and generally going out during induction week etc. A saturday night watching fights won't do anything to harm Uni.


Personally, I won't be there just because of money. My wife is now at the fuck all income of maternity leave so it's myself supporting our family. I can't justify spending £200 (including train or car over) for a fight. 


On top of that, whilst it's the best card in years in England, I don't really care about it. Bisping aside, i couldn't give a fuck about anyone else. Even then, it's hard to forgive Bisping for the last time I saw him live in New Jersey at UFC 159. 


I think the fight could be good, but just not £200 good. 

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Personally, I won't be there just because of money. My wife is now at the fuck all income of maternity leave so it's myself supporting our family. I can't justify spending £200 (including train or car over) for a fight. 


Ha. Exactly the same situation here. Sucks, huh?


You know what's even worse? The cost of sodding nursery care. Holy shit, it's mental.



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I've been surprised at how much the start time has put people off. There's two hardcore fans in my office, with the three of us usually bumping into each other since we all go to every event, but both of them were talking about skipping this show due to it being held at stupid o'clock.


Both said they might go to the Belfast show instead, since that'll be on at a more normal time. I wonder if the announcement of the Belfast show might harm ticket sales for the Manchester event on a grander scale.

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Cheers Iamby but unfortunately it's Freshers week so it just won't workout.


Supremo, I'm not massively surprised myself, Manchesters a great city and that, we went up there in July for the stone roses which was a major event in the city, but it'll be a super expensive night out, drinking from what like 10PM onwards? With few deals on due to it being a Saturday and then the burden of a lot of places other than nightclubs shutting at 1/2AM, to then head to the Manc arena to pay a fiver for a pint of Carlsberg or similar? Just doesn't work well to me.

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if i was going i wouldn't be hitting any bars or clubs first, come 5am i'd feel like fucking death. I made the mistake of drinking prior to the Calzaghe/Kessler fight (which started around 2am i believe), dehydration had kicked in, i had a headache and was starving for grub, horrible.

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Personally, I won't be there just because of money. My wife is now at the fuck all income of maternity leave so it's myself supporting our family. I can't justify spending £200 (including train or car over) for a fight. 


Ha. Exactly the same situation here. Sucks, huh?


You know what's even worse? The cost of sodding nursery care. Holy shit, it's mental.





We've got that to come next year but luckily by the time our first son goes to Nursey he will be eligible for his 15 hours of free child care. So it will just be our second son that we have to pay for and fortunately with my wife being a staff nurse she only works 2 days a week with one day possibly on weekends. 



In regards to Egg above, i'd be doing the same. I'd lie in all day (if I could) and then head straight to the venue for a few pints whilst there. 

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yeh, i was chatting to a mate who was thinking of going and we basically said if we travelled up we'd likely check into the hotel early and try nap into the early evening before getting up to goto the show, pull a full-on night shift job on it.

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