If Michael Bisping had a chance to win his fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 100, most people would probably agree it would have been on the feet.
Once the fight started Bisping appeared tentative and unwilling to stand in the pocket. He stayed on his bicycle for the entire first round. He appeared a bit hesitant. When he did engage it was quickly in, then quickly back out.
When top UFC fighters like Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva employ similar strategies often referred to as “elusive,” their movements are natural and fluid, and when they attack it is precise, without hesitation, and accurate.
They are quite contrary to Bisping’s motions which were sketchy and without confidence. Bisping seemed to have the right idea in spirit, it was just his application that was flawed. Henderson spent much of the first round chasing Bisping all over the Octagon, unafraid of anything the Brit had to offer.
On ESPN’s MMA LIVE UFC 100 post show host Jon Anik asked Dan Henderson, “Is it safe to say that you didn’t fear he had power in either hand?” After feeling what Bisping had to offer all through round one, the former PRIDE champion was not impressed.
“No, I remember saying between the first and second round that he hit like a bitch. That was word-for-word what I said to my corner between rounds,” confirmed Henderson. “He didn’t hit hard at all and it’s always nice to feel that once the guy hits you with a square right hand and it doesn’t hurt at all, just you know what you can probably do to him.”
Henderson began to pick up on Bisping’s timidity, “He was probably a little nervous after I hit him the first two or three times. I felt that he got a little bit nervous.”
Bisping continued to try and evade Henderson’s big right hand but ultimately ended up dodging to the left one too many times where the power punch was waiting for him. Henderson’s punch connected and the coach for Team UK of The Ultimate Fighter season 9 laid unconscious on the canvas.
Henderson, a former Olympic wrestler, said he originally expected to take Bisping down at least once per round just to make sure he won the round and to beat him up in every aspect of the game. However, once he saw how the fight was going, he did not feel the need to take it to the ground.
He went on to say, that although Bisping may have possibly been out-pointing him with more jabs and maybe even more punches, “They didn’t hurt one bit. I knew that I was damaging him and it was just a matter of time.”
At one point in the fight “The Count” even made a half-hearted attempt at a takedown. Surely that would have been a futile strategy. Henderson chuckled at the idea, “I believe he said he was going to out-wrestle me too.”
Dan Henderson has been called “Decision Dan” due to the fact many of his fights have gone the distance. Prior to his fight with Bisping, he said he was definitely going to be trying to finish it any way he could. It is quite possible that with two big right hands he may have erased the unflattering “Decision Dan” moniker forever.
By: Jack Bratcher