Florian and Cormier discuss Dan Henderson’s final fight and Bisping’s successful title defense (w/Keller’s Analysis)

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

Michael Bisping (art credit Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Although it didn’t take long for the focus to shift to UFC 205 and then also UFC 207 with the Ronda Rousey news, the panel on FS1’s UFC Tonight on Wednesday night discussed the result of the competitive and historic UFC 204 main event.

“Michael Bisping had to fight for every second of that fight from the hole he dug himself in during the first round,” said Daniel Cormier. “His activity and championship meddle carried him to victory. That guy put on a performance Saturday night of a champion.

Kenny Florian had high praise for Bisping, too. “He double downed on his performance against Anderson Silva,” he said. “He has heart for days. You have to be careful when you throw that jab against someone like Dan Henderson or you get hit. The fact that Bisping survived and pulled it off was impressive.”

Cormier said it was a fitting end of a career for Henderson. “Henderson went out like a legend,” he said. “He didn’t go out on his back. He went out with his hand held high in a competitive fight against the champion in the division.”

Florian said he agreed with the judge’s decision. “To me it wasn’t too controversial decision,” he said. “Dan won the first round, but Bisping won the fight. It was a classic.”

Keller’s Analysis: The fight was pretty much perfect in terms of both fighters coming away with a satisfying outcome. Sure, Bisping would have loved to have won with a decisive win in the first round or two. Obviously Henderson would have loved to have retired as a UFC Champion. But the fact is that both got to have a competitive, main event worthy fight that both some measure of satisfaction. Bisping avenged a loss and defended his title successfully against a legend in a memorable fight; Henderson went into retirement taking the current Middleweight Champ to a competitive five-round draw came about as close as one can get to an early TKO win. On the down side, Bisping wasn’t exactly fighting a top contender on a hot streak in his prime, and he barely won; Henderson came close but couldn’t finish and might forever regret how close he came to becoming a champion by beating someone he once destroyed and who isn’t considered the actual best fighter in his division by most.

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