Today’s new Roundtable Topic: Who has more at stake in Saturday’s main event? Dan Henderson, to avoid looking like he stuck around too long? Or Michael Bisping, who risks failing to avenge his most devastating loss and could invalidate his recognition as a serious Middleweight Champion? The following is the first of several batches of responses from the MMATorch Team.
But before reading the Roundtable, vote in our poll regarding Saturday’s main event title fight at UFC 204:
JASON AMADI, MMATorch contributor
Dan Henderson has lost a good number of fights over the last few years and has publicly stated that he’s ready to retire, win or lose, after UFC 204. This is the definitive “nothing to lose, everything to gain” scenario. Michael Bisping vs. Henderson is the most sellable fight in the Middleweight Division currently, but it’s also the most winnable for Bisping. Quite frankly, there aren’t many ranked contenders who he’d be favored to retain his title against. Michael Bisping has everything to lose in this bout. This current incarnation of Dan Henderson isn’t taking a unanimous decision off of anybody. If Bisping is losing this fight, he’s losing by knockout. Losing his belt to a guy outside of the top 10 would be bad, but Bisping getting knocked out by Dan Henderson again would define his career.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATorch contributor
Michael Bisping has way more at stake here considering he’s the one who asked for this fight. With his amazing upset over Luke Rockhold to win the title, Bisping should be expected to beat Dan Henderson here, who arguably should have retired a half a dozen fights ago. For him to not exact his revenge on Henderson it would quite possibly be worst loss of his career, and on the largest stage as well for that matter.
MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATorch contributor
Michael Bisping has the most to lose when he fights Dan Henderson this weekend. He’s already facing credibility issues as a champion after beating Luke Rockhold on short notice. Rockhold let it be known that he wasn’t taking Bisping seriously in their rematch and many top middleweights don’t take him seriously as champion. If Bisping loses to a 46 year old, no. 13 ranked fighter Henderson, it will validate all of the doubt cast on him since he won the title and this fight was made. Henderson has absolutely nothing to lose. He’s made it clear that this will be his last fight win or lose (I believe him) and he’s not favored to win as it is. If he wins, it’s a great fairy tale ending to a Hall of Fame career. If he loses, he wasn’t supposed to win anyways, and he can go out knowing he had one last shot at a championship. Bisping asked for this fight, he already has that loss to Henderson that has been thrown in his face for the last seven years, and he’s fighting in his hometown defending a title many feel he doesn’t deserve. A loss would be devastating to the legacy of a fighter who has a reputation for coming up short in big fights. All of this pressure could add up to a disappointing morning for Michael Bisping.
NICK GRINUPS, MMATorch contributor
Dan Henderson has absolutely nothing to lose heading into UFC 204. The 46 year old has accomplished so much in his career, from being a two-weight champion in Pride to being the last Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion. I believe all of the pressure is on Michael Bisping, who is defending his belt in his home country against an old opponent who knocked him out before. Bisping is already looked at as somewhat as a one-time wonder champ after upsetting Rockhold on short notice; a loss to Henderson would really hurt his career points. Nonetheless, we have two legends squaring off Saturday and, as a fan, I have zero complaints.
NOW CATCH UP ON THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: ROUNDTABLE – (Batch 3): Does Ronda Rousey deserve to receive an immediate title rematch if she returns at UFC 207?
(MMATorch features the Roundtable feature providing a variety of opinions and perspectives on hot topics in the world MMA.)