The MMA world said good-bye to one of the sport's greatest ever, Dan Henderson last night, as he competed in his last fight of his career against Michael Bisping as the main event at UFC 204 in Manchester, England. The main card of last night's fight was not short on action, and we saw multiple finishes.
First fight: Mirsad Bektic vs. Russell Doane
Mirsad Bektic made quick work of Russell Doane, who accepted the fight on short notice, and Bektic showed just why he is the #1 ranked prospect in the featherweight division, and the UFC as a whole. He said post fight that he would love to take over a "lackluster" featherweight division, even saying he would "beat anybody" when asked if he would beat Conor. He is someone to keep an eye on folks, as he improves to 11-0 on his career, 4-0 in the UFC.
Next we had: Stefan Struve vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
The 'Skyscraper' Struve was able to use his great submission and ground game to finish Omielanczuk in the second round with a D'arce choke after taking him down. Struve has now won 3 of his last 4, 2 straight, and both finishes, and he is working his way back into the picture in the heavyweight division. The height advantage seemed to be too much (Struve is 7'0 and Omielanczuk is 6'0) and Struve will look to keep rolling after this win.
Our third fight: Jimi Manuwa vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Jimi Manuwa rebounded nicely from his vicious knockout loss to Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson just over a year ago, as he knocked out OSP in the second round with a huge KO. OSP now has last two straight, after losing to Jon Jones this spring for the interim championship, and he is in need of a win as he will continue to drop in the Light Heayweight rankings.
Check out the knockout if you haven't seen it yet, folded him right up. (The sound doesn't match up with the video)
Co-Main Event: Vitor Belfort vs. Gegard Mousasi
Mousasi came out aggressive and firing, and he was able to defeated 'The Phenom' Belfort in the second round via TKO after he rocked Vitor with a head kick, and came in for the kill by landing punch after punch with Belfort against the cage, before taking him to the ground and finishing him. For Belfort, I feel this should be his last fight. He has had an incredible career, and will go down as one of the greatest, and most feared fighters in MMA history, but at 39, and suffering two straight vicious TKO losses, I think it's time to hang up the gloves. Mousasi, however, earned his 40th career victory, and at only 31 years old. Gegard feels he is deserving of a title shot, but we will have to see how the rest of the division shapes out in the next month or two with the big middleweight fights coming up.
The Main Event: Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson for the Middleweight Championship
Last night was Dan Henderson's final fight in what has been a Hall of Fame career, and he unfortunately came up just short of capturing the ever-so-elusive UFC belt. Hendo came out swinging and he did not disappoint, landing multiple big shots in the first two rounds, rocking Bisping and even dropping him. The Champ was able to weather the storm however, and Bisping hung on to win rounds 3, 4, and 5, to make the first defense of his title. I am a big Hendo fan, and would have absolutely loved to see him retire from the UFC with the strap around his waist, but not all stories are fairytales; Hendo did go out in a very noble way, losing an incredibly close decision fight, and giving us a few more 'Hendo-Bomb' highlights.
Salute to you on an incredible career Hendo, and thank you for everything you did for the sport. A 2-weight champion in Pride, the last Heavyweight Champion in Strikeforce, and an Olympic wrestler, he did it all.
One of the baddest dudes ever, enjoy the highlights.
Hendo said post-fight, that he wished the fight was judged on how you looked after the fight, and you can see why ^^^^^ Bisping's face today looks like he is gonna be having Hendo scars forever.