Henderson wasn’t thinking about Bisping rematch after UFC 199, now thinks it’d be perfect retirement fight

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Dan Henderson (photo credit Derick E. Hingle © USA Today Sports)

When Dan Henderson knocked out Hector Lombard earlier this month at UFC 199, he wasn’t sure whether or not his career was over. He openly commented that it could have been his last fight, and then Michael Bisping’s main event knockout over Luke Rockhold opened up a possibility that even Henderson hadn’t thought about.

Henderson knocked Bisping out at UFC 100 in 2009 in one of the most brutal highlight reel finishes in the organization’s history, so with Bisping now the UFC Middleweight Champion there was a swell of talk about a rematch for that title. For Henderson, while unexpected, it would represent the perfect way for him to end his career.

“[I] was shocked just liked everybody else that Michael Bisping knocked somebody out. I don’t know if Bisping’s ever knocked anybody out,” Henderson said in an interview with FoxSports.com. “I know he’s TKO’d a number of people and that’s what he does well, just stay on them and wear them down and TKO them. I’ve never known him to have knockout power and for him to land a nice left hook and to hit Luke like that it was nice and it was unexpected.

“At that point, a rematch wasn’t even going through my head. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I start getting texts ‘hey you should fight Bisping again’ and I kind of shrugged it off. It wouldn’t happen but the momentum kind of built and now everybody’s asking about it. Everyone of my fans on my social medial outlets are asking for that fight as well. Who knows it could happen. It’s something I definitely would fight one more time against him for sure, if I got the opportunity I would absolutely fight against him and that would be my last fight for sure.

“That would definitely be my retirement fight for sure. I think with that being known ahead of time, it just adds to the excitement to the fight and the draw of the fight. Hopefully, they can make that happen.”

Now all Henderson has to do is wait on the UFC and Bisping to figure out when the Brit will make his first title defense, and just which route they’ll go with his first challenger.

Penick’s Analysis: He’d be a fool not to take that opportunity if the UFC wanted to put that fight on, but I honestly hope they don’t go that direction. Henderson, despite finding his way out of that Lombard fight with a win, has had his head battered around by most of his last several opponents, and he had lost three of four into UFC 199. Yes he has a win over Bisping from seven years ago, but that doesn’t make this the fight that should happen next. Bisping may want to avenge it, and that could potentially push it to the forefront, but plenty of other fighters belong in that spot over Henderson, not the least of which is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Henderson may want to go out on a high, but he doesn’t need to be gifted a title fight for that to happen.

[Photo (c) Derick E. Hingle via USA Today Sports]

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