Dan Henderson has already fought through one of the most legendary careers that there has ever been in our sport. He’s fought from Welterweight all the way to Heavyweight. He’s a two-division champion of PRIDE, and the former Light Heavyweight champion of Strikeforce. And the future Hall of Famer cemented the perfect ending to his MMA journey at UFC 199. Henderson took on Hector Lombard and, after nearly being knocked out cold in the first round, came back in the second and decimated Lombard with a fight ending back elbow.
Afterwards, Henderson said he wouldn’t make any hasty decisions about calling it a career immediately. But with Michael Bisping’s amazing upset of Luke Rockhold in the night’s main event, fans and media alike had been pondering and calling for the rematch with the Middleweight title on the line.
Henderson’s camp and management had cited Dan’s possible desire for the match-up over the last week. Now having taken that time to celebrate the victory, and contemplate his career and a match-up with the British champion, Henderson joined Nick Peralta on the MMA Discussion podcast Monday afternoon to solidify his thoughts on what may be left for him in his career.
“(Fighting Bisping) is definitely something that I would do. But it would definitely be my last fight for sure. Win or lose. I’m obviously confident that I would win, but win or lose I would make that my retirement fight.”
Bisping won the epic upset over the now-former champion Luke Rockhold via knockout in the first round. It was quite the spectacular sight, especially considering first-round knockouts are not the general manner in which you see a Bisping fight end. Henderson, of course, caught the fight and had his thoughts on Bisping’s style and his historic win.
“He’s always been the same way. He’s of course well-rounded, he’s always in shape. He always tries to outpoint people. I think in this last fight with Luke Rockhold, he landed punches right where he needed to. He hasn’t shown big power in the past, so maybe he’s gotten a little bit better with his power but it just seemed like he landed some punches that were right on the button and was able to knock Luke out. I don’t think he’s changed all that much. Obviously he has improved in little ways.
I think Luke kind of went in there a little cocky and just paid the price. Bisping just stayed the course, fighting his fight, and didn’t worry about Luke so much and just worried about what he had to do an he did it and it worked out well for him. I don’t think there was anything other than that that went on.”
When asked if he would take any other fights in order to earn that championship bout Henderson didn’t shy away from the possibility of taking one more fight before fighting “The Count” but further enforced that Bisping was the fight most deserving of his swan song.
“I don’t know how much (longer) I want to fight, it all depends on who they offer me. I’d be interested in maybe one more fight. I’m pretty close to being done though and I asked my fans the other day who do you want me to fight in my last fight and like 99% of them said Bisping. So that’s what I hope happens because that’s who the fans want to see me fight. There was a couple that said Anderson Silva, a couple that said Fedor. But I think the one right now that makes the most sense. Him winning that title has given me the (motivation) to want to fight him again. I didn’t have any reason (before), I wouldn’t be able to knock him out any better or more exciting than I did the first time. Now with him having the belt, that gives me a reason, and gives him reason as far as being able to get some redemption.”
The full interview with Dan Henderson will be released on Wednesday, June 15th. Check MMA Discussion or MMA Outsiders on Facebook and Twitter or here on MMAOutsiders.com.