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Michael Bisping Opens Up On The Nerves He Had Before Dan Henderson Fight

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Michael Bisping successfully defended his UFC middleweight title against Dan Henderson at UFC 204, but it certainly wasn't a straightforward night at the office for the Manchester fighter.

Going into the fight, Bisping was well aware of Henderson's ability to still knock people out with that overhand right, and sure enough the veteran connected with three big strikes that rocked his opponent, but the Englishman managed to survive each time and went on to significantly outwork Hendo and claim the win.

And he has received very little credit for it. Henderson's age has prompted many fans and some in the media to criticise Bisping for not recording a more impressive win, and that attitude has prompted a response that we don't see from too many high-level MMA practitioners.

Bisping has opened up about how, on the morning of the fight while he was alone with his thoughts, he could not stop memories of the devastating KO Henderson recorded over him at UFC 100. The huge knockout punch has been seen in UFC highlight reels thousands of times since, and Bisping offered some interesting views as to the effect that had on him, while speaking on his show on SiriusXM:


Do you know how hard it is when a guy knocked you out cold? Dominated you the first time, and I didn't talk about this before the fight because I didn't want to think about it, but the day of the fight in bed, you're alone with your thoughts, and I had a lot of nerves.

The last time I went up against this guy, he knocked the living daylights out of me, I was unconscious for a long time. So that took a lot of balls.

Anyone who says I was looking for an easy pay-day can kiss my arse.

Henderson showed with the damage he did to Bisping's face that he needed to be taken very seriously for that fight, and Bisping still managed to get the job done.

Perhaps he isn't getting enough credit, he certainly feels he is anyway, but few fighters are willing to openly discuss nerves and feelings of unease ahead of a fight as to do so is to admit you are not superhuman, to show a sign of weakness that others may be reluctant to show to potenital opponents.


Credit to Bisping for doing just that.

He now faces roughly six months out through medical suspension after the five round war, and many things may have changed in the middleweight division by the time he is ready to comepete again.

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