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UFC FIGHT PASS preview – UFC 204


The UFC World Tour continues this Saturday, as UFC 204 takes place in Manchester, England with a main event pitting hometown hero – and UFC middleweight champion – Michael Bisping against Dan Henderson in a rematch of their 2009 showdown.

This is a bout both men wanted, but before they square off, the UFC FIGHT PASS portion of the card will kick off at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT with a trio of hard-hitting bouts that will see the combatants attempt to steal the show from the headliners.

This is the UFC FIGHT PASS preview of UFC 204. Get UFC FIGHT PASS now to watch these three fights on Saturday!

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUG. 20: Mike Perry celebrates after defeating Hyun Gyu Lim of South Korea in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)Mike Perry vs. Danny Roberts

Mike Perry came into the UFC talking earlier this year, he knocked out Hyun Gyu Lim in impressive style, and then he kept talking in the lead-up to the UFC FIGHT PASS Featured Bout against Danny Roberts. And that’s okay, because when you hit as hard as “Platinum” Mike does, he can say whatever he wants as long as he keeps delivering the goods.

So it’s not surprising that he assumes Roberts will be another clip for his highlight reel, but the Londoner is the real deal at 170 pounds, making this another one of those UFC FIGHT PASS bouts that is truly main card worthy. Add in Roberts fighting at home in England for the first time as a UFC fighter, and the crowd will be into this fight from start to finish. Just don’t be surprised that with these two heavy hitters, that finish comes before the third round horn sounds.

HOUSTON, TX - OCT 03: Adriano Martins celebrates his knockout victory over Islam Makhachev in their lightweight bout during the UFC 192 event at the Toyota Center. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)Adriano Martins vs. Leonardo Santos

Speaking of fights that would be right at home on the Pay-Per-View main card, the All-Brazil battle between Adriano Martins and Leonardo Santos certainly fits the bill. With a combined UFC record of 8-1-1, both Martins and Santos have proven themselves ready for the next level at 155 pounds, but inactivity has hurt them.

Santos, who knocked out Kevin Lee in his most recent bout, has been out since December of 2015. Martins’ last bout, which saw him knock out Islam Makhachev, has been on the sidelines since of October of 2015. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they’re back, and they should put on a show this weekend. And hopefully, it will be the start of a more active stretch for both fighters.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Lukasz Sajewski of Poland weighs in during the UFC Berlin weigh-in at the O2 World. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)Marc Diakiese vs. Lukasz Sajewski

If you talk to fight game insiders from across the pond, it’s imperative that you put aside any Saturday afternoon plans and make sure you’re tuning in to the very start of the UFC FIGHT PASS portion of the UFC 204 card to catch the Octagon debut of Doncaster’s Marc Diakiese.

And why the very start? Well the kid did end his last two bouts in a combined 60 seconds, so he’s got some pretty impressive stopping power in his arsenal. Poland’s Lukasz Sajewski is no slouch though, so this could be a nice scrap to begin a full night of fights in Manchester.

UFC Unfiltered: Bisping and O’Connell


UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping calls in to talk about his first title defense at UFC 204 against Dan Henderson, adjusting to the early morning fight time, what’s truly at stake for this fight, the state of the Middleweight division, and more. Also, radio presenter Christian O’Connell joins the show to discuss the parallels between comedy and fighting, Bisping/Henderson, and the signs of an advanced democracy. Plus, Matt Serra calls Jim and guest co-host Luis J. Gomez from his family vacation to Disney World.

Some of the highlights from Episode 31 of UFC Unfiltered include:

Christian picks Bisping over Hendo

Christian talks about the UFC thriving in a bubble wrapped world

Bisping on learning from the famous UFC 100 knockout

Bisping’s not retiring, he’s making too much money

Bisping says to bet the house he’ll win at UFC 204

Polish stars happy to grow the sport together



UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz didn’t need to be separated as they prepared to head to Tuesday’s UFC 205 press conference at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. They’ll have their 25 minutes or less to fight on November 12. So, for now, it’s all calm between the two Polish stars.

“I know her, I like her and I respect her very much,” Kowalkiewicz said. “She’s a great fighter, and we are both from Poland.”

“We are both Polish, we’re fighting on probably the biggest UFC show in 2016, so we are friends,” Jedrzejczyk added. “When I step into the Octagon, I’m not going to be friendly anymore, but now, why not? This sport is beautiful, we’ve contacted each other and we can have fun with our opponents, but when it’s time to fight, we fight. But I’m happy that two Polish girls will fight in Madison Square Garden in the first show in New York (City). I’m happy for both of us and for the Polish community, which is very big in New York.”


As important as this fight is for the MMA world at large, it’s even more so in Poland, where Olsztyn’s Jedrzejczyk and Lodz’ Kowalkiewicz were born, raised and trained in the sport of mixed martial arts. They even fought once as amateurs, with Jedrzejczyk submitting Kowalkiewicz in March of 2012. But that was more than four years ago.

“I am a different fighter, so it means nothing,” Kowalkiewicz said.

Since that first meeting, the two have combined for 22 pro MMA wins, Kowalkiewicz earning three Octagon victories over Randa Markos, Heather Jo Clark and Rose Namajunas, while Jedrzejczyk has become a legit superstar in the UFC thanks to six victories that includes a title-winning effort over Carla Esparza and successful title defenses against Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau and Claudia Gadelha.

All this success has led to speculation about how a fight between the two in 2016 would look, and now it’s going to happen, much to the delight of Polish fans.

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“In Poland this is something big, really big,” Kowalkiewicz said. “Everybody is talking about this.”

As a result, both fighters will likely be subject to more media attention than ever before at home, and that can be a distraction, so Jedrzejczyk has decided to set up camp in south Florida, where she is now working with American Top Team.

“I want to make my name more in the U.S.,” she said. “And I feel like I can do this. I moved to Florida last week to American Top Team and I’m very happy. My main coach is former WEC champion Mike Brown, there’s Kami and Katel, and Dyah, who is my boxing coach. I’m very happy, I’m very open, I’m learning every day, I challenge myself every day, and this fight is going to be different and epic and I’m very happy that I made this move.”

On the other side of the Octagon, Kowalkiewicz is staying home for training camp and she’s fine with that.

“I just focus on training and that’s it,” she said. “I don’t have a problem with concentration on training.”

The countdown has already started, and while the clash of compatriots will garner world-wide attention, Jedrzejczyk wanted it to happen on the historic UFC 205 card in NYC.

“Lots of people in Poland, they wanted this fight to happen in Poland, but I wanted this fight to happen here in New York because I am the UFC champion, I defended my title three times and I must enjoy my fights for all the people around the world,” she said. “That’s the main thing. Of course I want to fight in Poland, maybe next year, but it was my dream to fight in New York, and I’m very happy.”

Bisping finally reaping rewards after years of sacrifice


It’s good to be Michael Bisping.

So far in 2016, Bisping not only became the first Brit to win a UFC championship by shocking heavily favored Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, but he also defeated one of MMA’s greats in Anderson Silva and furthered his career outside the Octagon by acting in the upcoming blockbuster xXx sequel alongside Vin Diesel. Add in his supportive family and you get what some would consider the perfect life.

But as the 37-year-old prepares to defend the middleweight championship in front of a raucous home crowd in Manchester, England at Saturday’s UFC 204, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always perfect for “The Count.”

Every fighter has a list of obstacles that were overcome on the path to success, but Bisping certainly has more than his share. He paid his dues, and now he’s reaping the benefits.

He isn’t shy about sharing stories of the sacrifices he made to get to where he is – sleeping in his car at times, struggling to make ends meet — but Bisping endured, and things looked to get on track when he won Season Three of The Ultimate Fighter, starting his UFC career with a run of four-straight victories. But stumbles would begin after his first professional loss against Rashad Evans at UFC 78.

Every time he built momentum, a loss would derail that progress. Combine that with numerous personal obstacles, including a detached retina he sustained in a loss against Vitor Belfort in January 2013, and this could easily have been a story about a fighter who had moments of brilliance on the mic and in the Octagon but never fully realized his potential.

Thanks to persistence and a bit of good fortune, this is not that type of story. This is the story of a guy who kept getting back up and is making history – in more ways than one.

RELATED: Watch Bisping vs. Hendo 1 from UFC 100 free | Watch Bisping win the title vs. Luke Rockhold free | UFC 204 Embedded – Ep. 1 | Dan Hardy and John Gooden preview Bisping-Hendo 2

Multiple eye surgeries helped him return to the Octagon and following a loss in his return to Tim Kennedy, Bisping has been on a tear – accumulating a 5-1 record over his last six fights, including his current four-win streak.

“I don’t spend time dwelling on all the sacrifices that I’ve made, but it does run through my mind prior to a fight,” Bisping said in the days prior to arriving in Manchester for UFC 204. “Prior to walking out to the Octagon I think about the journey I’ve been on and I think that gets me mentally prepared.”

That mental preparation has been the key recently. Known as a brash talker, Bisping has been working with longtime boxing coach Jason Parillo to unlock his potential and reach new heights.Michael Bisping celebrates after winning the UFC middleweight title at UFC 199

“He has really worked wonders with me more on the mental side of things,” Bisping said of Parillo. “The physical side has always been there – I trained hard and applied myself, but Jason has worked on the mental side of things and is giving me a more cerebral approach to my fighting. He’s worked on making me nice and calm going into a fight.”

That helped him overcome the odds against Silva in London this past February and even bigger odds when he stepped up on short notice against Rockhold in June to become world champion, earning his 19thcareer UFC win, tied for most all-time (with 15 coming within the middleweight division – a new record). He’s also a must-see fighter in terms of action – he has never been shy about mixing it up and he has landed the most significant strikes in UFC history over his career.

Saturday night, Bisping gets a chance to avenge a past loss against Dan Henderson, who defeated him at UFC 100. But this fight is about more than Hendo for Bisping. He will achieve what no other fighter from the UK has done before, as he brings a world championship fight home to England.

“I don’t lie in bed thinking about getting revenge on Dan Henderson,” Bisping said. “My career has surpassed Dan Henderson and now I’m the champion of the (expletive) world. I have to win this fight – of course I’m the champion and I want to keep the belt, but if I lose to Dan Henderson that’ll be worse than losing it to anybody else – I don’t want to lose to Dan Henderson twice.

“I always dreamed of being here. If I’m honest, I kind of thought it wouldn’t happen, but here we are, I am the champion and my first defense is in Manchester. It really is what childhood dreams are made of. I’m a happy man, I get to represent my country on the world’s stage, I get to rematch a legend of the sport, I get payback on a guy that viciously knocked me out, I get to get paid. There’s a lot on the line here. That’s why I’ve trained accordingly and I get to represent myself, my family and Great Britain. Hopefully I put on a hell of a show.”

UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 Fantasy Cheat Sheet


New middleweight champion Michael Bisping will make his first title defense on home soil when he looks to avenge his UFC 100 loss to Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 204 in Manchester, England this Saturday.

Henderson landed one of the most vicious knockouts in history when he finished Bisping back in 2009. Now Bisping looks to avenge that loss while Henderson hopes to add a UFC title to his resume before retiring from the sport.

Also on the card, former champion Vitor Belfort will look to bounce back from a disappointing outing in his last fight against Ronaldo „Jacare“ Souza when he faces perennial contender Gegard Mousasi.

In today’s fantasy preview, we’re going to examine those fights and several more to see who has the edge going into Saturday night and if there might even be an upset brewing at UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2.

Think you know how the next fight card will play out? Play UFC Pick ‘Em


These are the fights that are just too close to call, but a few minor differences between favorite and underdog could lead one fighter to victory and the other to defeat.

Michael Bisping (-235 favorite) vs. Dan Henderson (+195 underdog)

It’s been six years since Michael Bisping first met Dan Henderson inside the Octagon and a lot has changed since that time. Bisping put together an impressive string of victories to climb to the top of the middleweight rankings before winning the title in June, while Henderson has bounced back and forth between wins and losses over the last couple of years. Regardless, “Hendo” still maintains the same knockout power that gave him a win in their first fight.

Bisping has improved tremendously since the last time he met Henderson, especially with his power and patience while striking. When Bisping faced Henderson at UFC 100, he still had solid boxing and good footwork, but he constantly circled directly into his opponent’s powerful right hand and he paid for that dearly. Since then, Bisping has adapted a much more unpredictable style on the feet, where he still uses constant movement as a weapon but he’s no longer circling to the left or right, but instead moving in all directions to keep his striking fluid over the course of 15 or 25 minutes. Bisping has also developed a lot more power in his hands while working with head coach Jason Parillo, and that was showcased with his first round knockout over Luke Rockhold as well as his striking attacks in his fight with Anderson Silva.

As for Henderson, the same rules that applied to him back in 2009 still apply to him now. He’s a world class Greco-Roman wrestler with arguably the most dangerous right hand in the business. Henderson can uncork that right hand from anywhere and it only needs to land with a glance to do maximum damage. Of course, Henderson has seen his chin tested a lot in recent years and he’s taken a fair amount of punishment, but he always seems to have the ability to come back, and that’s helped earn him impressive wins over names such as Mauricio „Shogun“ Rua and Hector Lombard.

Make no mistake, Henderson still has the one punch knockout ability to put an end to Bisping’s title reign at UFC 204. The key for Henderson is to not get drawn into a fight where he’s chasing Bisping around the cage. Bisping uses movement as well as anybody who fights in the UFC and his ability to avoid damage will be a major factor in frustrating and then countering whatever Henderson throws at him. Bisping knows what he did wrong against Henderson the last time and there’s little chance he’s going to fall into that same trap again.

As long as Bisping is smart and tactical with his approach and hits combinations and then moves away as quickly as possible, Henderson may struggle to find his chin, and over the course of five rounds, he could run out of gas. That’s never been a problem for Bisping, and the longer this fight goes, the more he’ll dominate. It won’t be easy to put Henderson away, but if Bisping can draw him into deep waters in the fourth or fifth round, he could get it done.

Prediction: Michael Bisping by TKO, Round 4.

Gegard Mousasi (-330 favorite) vs. Vitor Belfort (+270 underdog)

Gegard Mousasi has been calling for a fight with Vitor Belfort for several years and now he’ll finally get his chance when they meet in the co-main event from England. This matchup seems like it will end up as an all-striking affair, but don’t doubt the ground games of either fighter in this one. Still, chances are Mousasi and Belfort will be happy to slug it out on the feet, at least until one of them gets hurt and then the action may crash to the mat.

Mousasi has proven to be one of the most durable and consistent middleweights in the sport. He doesn’t do much of anything that’s flashy, but he hits hard and he’s very accurate on the feet. Mousasi lands just over 3.5 significant strikes per minute with 50 percent accuracy, and he has shown incredibly good defense throughout his career. Mousasi certainly isn’t afraid to mix in a takedown here or there, but chances are he’s going to want to test his striking against Belfort on Saturday night.

Belfort has gone 1-2 over his past three fights, and while he did struggle against Ronaldo „Jacare“ Souza and former champion Chris Weidman, there’s still plenty left to fear from this Brazilian legend. Belfort is a very good kickboxer, but he’s best known for his blazing fast speed and incredible creativity when he’s in the cage. Belfort can be a very technically proficient stirker, but when he decides to uncork a big head kick or even a spinning back kick, he hits hard and with precision.

Mousasi actually got caught and finished by a flashy spin kick when he faced Uriah Hall in 2015, but that likely taught him a valuable lesson in expecting the unexpected, and that should help him against Belfort. Mousasi can be an unrelenting, punishing striker on the feet with nasty power and a very overwhelming style of attack if he hurts an opponent and smells blood in the water. Of course, Mousasi has to watch out for Belfort’s lightning quick counters, but if he can avoid those flashy strikes, the Dutch veteran should find a way to win all three rounds en route to a decision victory.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision

RELATED: Watch Bisping vs. Hendo 1 from UFC 100 free | Watch Bisping win the title vs. Luke Rockhold free | UFC 204 Embedded – Ep. 1 | Dan Hardy and John Gooden preview Bisping-Hendo 2

Ovince Saint Preux (-155 favorite) vs. Jimi Manuwa (+135 underdog)

This light heavyweight matchup between Ovince Saint Preux and Jimi Manuwa could prove to be the toughest fight to pick on the entire card.

Saint Preux comes into this bout after a five round battle against Jon Jones in April where he suffered a broken arm during the fight, but still managed to make it until the end. Saint Preux is a natural athlete who has adapted his overall MMA game to the point where he’s dangerous on both the feet and on the ground. Saint Preux has struggled against better wrestlers over the years, but that won’t be a problem against Manuwa, who will clearly want to keep this fight standing. Manuwa is a striker with very heavy hands and fast delivery with his punches and kicks.

Manuwa will likely try to keep this fight at a distance while he tries to pick Saint Preux apart before going for the knockout blow. That being said, keeping Saint Preux away won’t be easy because the former University of Tennessee football standout actually holds a reach and height advantage in this fight and he has no problem wading to the inside to lock on to a clinch or go for a takedown. While Saint Preux may not be as technically sound as Manuwa on the feet, he still has plenty of power in his striking and he could absolutely win this fight by knockout. Add to that a very slick ground game and Saint Preux simply has more ways to win.

Saint Preux might best be served by mixing things up and keeping Manuwa guessing, and if he can do that with a variety of attacks from the clinch to the takedown to his striking, the American could leave England with a big win over one of their own.

Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision

Danny Roberts vs. Mike Perry

The featured fight on UFC FIGHT PASS in England pits local favorite Danny Roberts against hard-hitting Mike Perry, who made a very impressive debut back in August when he blasted through Hyun Gyu Lim.

Perry is still very raw in his overall MMA skill set, but what he lacks in technique, he makes up for with devastating power on the feet and on the ground. He’s finished every single fight in his career by knockout, and he continued that streak with his first fight in the UFC. Perry is an offensive machine who comes storming out of the gate and almost always looks for the first round finish as he overwhelms the opposition with his striking.

Roberts will be Perry’s toughest test to date, however, as the British prospect brings a very well rounded skill set into the Octagon, with good striking and very good jiu-jitsu on the ground. Roberts is best when he plays a technical boxing game with a long jab and good power in his hands. Roberts has to be careful not to get caught in big exchanges with Perry, because the American hits with fight-ending power. The key for Roberts is hitting combinations and then getting out of the way before Perry can return fire.

Neither fighter is known for their wrestling, so this battle ultimately comes down to who can control the action on the feet. If Perry can swarm on Roberts early, he has plenty of finishing power to make sure this bout never sees the second round. On the flipside, Roberts is a very tough matchup with a three-inch reach advantage on the feet, and if he can keep Perry at the end of his punches and never allow him to start winging away with haymakers, the Brit should be able to pull ahead by the second and third rounds.

Prediction: Danny Roberts by unanimous decision


These are the fights that appear to be a little more one-sided, but remember that this is MMA, where anything can – and usually does – happen.

Stevan Struve vs. Daniel Omielanczuk

When it comes to heavyweight fights there’s no such thing as a lock, but Stefan Struve should be a solid favorite heading into his bout with late notice opponent Daniel Omielanczuk. This bout came together after Ruslan Magomedov suffered an injury that forced him out of the fight and Omielanczuk, who is currently riding a three fight win streak, stepped up to face Struve on the card in England.

Omielanczuk is a heavy hitting fighter out of Poland who suffered back-to-back losses before turning things around with a trio of wins in recent fights. Omielanczuk is best known for his powerful strikes, but he’s also been to a couple of decisions lately, so he has the conditioning to go all three rounds if necessary. Omielanczuk will be giving up a lot of size in this fight, as Struve will have him by a full foot in height, and the reach is also a major factor that could come back to bite him.


Struve has certainly faced his share of ups and downs over recent years, but he returned to form with his last fight, where he made short work of Antonio „Bigfoot“ Silva in just 16 seconds. At his best, Struve is a very good striker on the feet with a very dangerous ground game off his back. Omielanczuk averages less than one takedown per fight so chances are this matchup won’t hit the ground unless the two heavyweights engage in a scramble and they end up crashing to the mat.

On the feet, Omielanczuk obviously has a puncher’s chance to land a big bomb on Struve’s chin, but the Dutchman is much more technically proficient and he’s becoming even more confident in his striking over the past couple of fights while working with the coaches at the Blackzilians camp in Florida. If Struve can showcase his kickboxing while keeping Omielanczuk at a distance, he should pick him apart and get a finish long before the final horn sounds.

Prediction: Stefan Struve by TKO, Round 2

Albert Tumenov vs. Leon Edwards

Following a disappointing loss to grappling ace Gunnar Nelson back in May, Albert Tumenov will look to start a new win streak when he faces Leon Edwards at UFC 204. Prior to his bout against Nelson, Tumenov had reeled off five straight wins, including three of those victories coming by way of knockout. Tumenov might be one of the most lethal strikers at 170 pounds and he’ll look to showcase his knockout skills against Edwards on Saturday night.

Edwards is no slouch on the feet, where he actually lands with over 53 percent accuracy, but dueling with Tumenov is probably going to be very bad for his health. Tumenov hits like a truck and he loves to swarm on his opponents by trapping them against the cage and absolutely unloading with a barrage of strikes. Edwards’ takedowns probably won’t save him either because he only has 28 percent accuracy when looking to get the fight to the ground and Tumenov has shown off great wrestling defense during his UFC career.

Look for Tumenov to come out and put the pressure on Edwards immediately, and once he finds an opening, he’ll start to unload with a heavy dose of punches and kicks until he lands the knockout blow. Tumenov is the real deal and he should showcase that once again at UFC 204.

Prediction: Albert Tumenov by KO, Round 1


Adriano Martins vs. Leonardo Santos

With three wins in a row and a 4-0-1 record overall in the UFC, Leonardo Santos is proving to be one of the top rising prospects in the lightweight division, especially after he ran through highly touted fighter Kevin Lee in his last performance. Santos seems to be developing into the complete package after starting his career as a submission specialist and he’s now developing real fight-ending power with his striking as well.

Given all those accolades, it would be no surprise if Santos won again at UFC 204, but he’s got a touch matchup against experienced knockout artist Adriano Martins.

Martins has proven to be one of the toughest matchups in the lightweight division and his only real setback has been against former title contender Donald „Cowboy“ Cerrone. Outside of that fight, Martins has dismantled his competition, most recently scoring a very impressive knockout over Islam Makhachev. Martins lands with a lot of power and he’s good at every range, whether he’s in close or hitting at distance.

Now, on paper, it would seem Santos has the advantage on the ground, but Martins has plenty of experience with grappling throughout his career. Santos would still be favored to win if these two end up rolling on the mat for 15 minutes, but Martins has more than enough in his jiu-jitsu arsenal to survive on the ground with him. On the feet, Santos has shown flashes of striking prowess, but if he decides to trade hands with Martins over the course of three rounds, it could end badly for him.

Martins is a devastating finisher, especially if he catches an opponent over pursuing a takedown or desperate to lock on to the clinch, and that’s where he could counter and finish Santos. It won’t be easy, but Martins has all the ability to surprise Santos and earn his third knockout victory in his past four fights.

Prediction: Adriano Martins by TKO, Round 2

Reasons to watch UFC 204


Rewind back to the beginning of 2015 and Michael Bisping’s career looked a lot different than it does heading into UFC 204 on Pay-Per-View this Saturday night.

Coming off his third loss in his last five fights, Bisping seemed further than ever from the elusive title shot that he’d been chasing for almost 10 years.

Then something amazing happened – a series of opportunistic events, actually. Bisping won a fight and then another. Anderson Silva needed an opponent for a fight in London and “The Count” got the call for the super fight with the man who reigned in his division for most of the time Bisping was chasing the belt.

Chris Weidman got hurt before his rematch with Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 and someone needed to fill his spot. Bisping took the title fight on two weeks’ notice and shocked the world by knocking out Luke Rockhold in historic fashion.

Now Bisping is the champ, and his legacy is as impressive as any. The middleweight champion is tied with Georges St-Pierre for the most wins (19) in UFC history. He has wins over Silva and Rockhold and now gets the opportunity to avenge the most disappointing loss of his career against Dan Henderson at UFC 204.

Bisping vs. Henderson is the No. 1 reason to watch UFC 204

RELATED: Watch Bisping vs. Hendo 1 from UFC 100 free | Watch Bisping win the title vs. Luke Rockhold free | UFC 204 Embedded – Ep. 1 | Dan Hardy and John Gooden preview Bisping-Hendo 2

INGLEWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Dan Henderson poses during the UFC 199 event at The Forum. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)2- One last chance to watch the great Dan Henderson

Speaking of legendary fighting careers, Henderson is one of the best to ever do it and he’s still going strong. In his last appearance, “Hendo” finished Hector Lombard with an unbelievable head kick KO and now sets his sights on the middleweight title before he walks away from the sport.

Henderson has said he will retire after this fight, win or lose, completing one of the most iconic careers in MMA history — one that has spanned the UFC, Pride and Strikeforce. But Henderson has never captured UFC gold and he hopes to change that in his last outing.

Henderson is tied with Shogun Rua for third on the all-time UFC/Pride/Strikeforce/WEC KO list. The one-time Olympic wrestler from Temecula, Calif. has 15 knockouts out of his 32 career wins, good for almost a 50 percent KO rate. Only Wanderlei Silva (19) and Mirko Cro Cop (18) have more.

3 – The rebirth of Gegard Mousasi

A little more than a year ago Gegard Mousasi was KO’d by Uriah Hall and seemingly past his prime in a stacked middleweight division. But now he’s riding a two-fight win streak and is coming off a destructive first-round KO against Thiago Santos.

Mousasi is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game. He is a savvy striker with power and pace, and he rarely gets taken down. He absorbs only 1.37 significant strikes per minute, which is good for the lowest rate among active middleweights. Plus, his elusive style allows him to out-land opponents as he’s posted a +1.69 per minute differential – good for the third-highest mark in the middleweight division.

Against Vitor Belfort in a dream of a co-main event, Mousasi is going to be up against one of the fiercest strikers in the history of the sport. Belfort has 14 career finishes, which is good for the most in UFC history.

4 – OSP back in action

Ovince Saint Preux is coming off a loss, but it’s important to remember he was facing arguably one of the greatest of all time in Jon Jones.

Saint Preux did some good things against Jones, but the tactical Jones proved to be too much in the end. Now OSP has a chance to get back to his winning ways against a hungry Jimi Manuwa.

Manuwa has lost two of his last three after winning three in a row to start his run in the UFC. A one-sided loss to Anthony Johnson was the result of his last fight and he’ll surely be looking to get back on track in England, his home country.

5 – Welterweight prospects collide

The UFC FIGHT PASS featured bout between Danny Roberts and Mike Perry is a battle between two prospects at 170 pounds who have yet to taste defeat in the UFC.

Roberts has started his UFC run with wins over Dominique Steele and a submission win against Nathan Coy. Perry is 8-0 and made his debut with a first-round KO against Hyun Gyu Lim.

Both fighters like to bang, but Roberts is probably the more technical striker. Look for Perry to bring the volume and aggression and if the fight hits the mat, it could be advantage: Roberts.

Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC

On the Rise: Up-and-comers at UFC 204


While a rematch for the middleweight title seven years in the making headlines this weekend’s Pay-Per-View event in Manchester, England, one of the strongest subplots of this card is that UFC 204 features several promising emerging talents looking to take another step forward in their development and introduce themselves to a larger audience.

Names like Bisping, Henderson, Belfort and Mousasi are the ones that will draw people in, but don’t be surprised if some of the lesser known fighters that step into the Octagon on Saturday night make the biggest impact.

Here are three such fighters to watch out for this weekend.

This is On the Rise.

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Mirsad Bektic

If not for a serious knee injury, Bektic would probably already be someone more fans were looking at as one of the future stars of the featherweight division. Instead, the 25-year-old standout is returning for the first time since May 2015, eager to pick up where he left off and resume a rapid climb up the 145-pound ranks.

The undefeated Bektic has posted three consecutive victories inside the Octagon, winning each subsequent fight in more convincing fashion than the last. After edging out Chas Skelly in his debut, the American Top Team product mauled Paul Redmond en route to a unanimous decision before running through Lucas Martins to push his winning streak to 10.

He was scheduled to face Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri last December, but a blown ACL put him on the shelf. Bektic was tabbed as a championship-level talent as he stormed through opponents on the regional circuit and has only solidified that advanced billing since debuting in the UFC. Healthy and hungry, you can be sure Bektic will be looking to make up for lost time and make a statement in his return to the cage Saturday night in Manchester.

Davey Grant

“What happened to Davey Grant?” was one of the first things that would pop up when you would type the British bantamweight’s name into Google, but back in February, Grant returned to action for the first time in more than two years and showed that he’s someone to keep tabs on going forward with a dominant decision win over Marlon Vera.

Despite going 27 months between fights – including weighing in for a bout against Roland Delorme in London, only to have the contest scrapped less than 24 hours before the show – Grant didn’t look like he missed a beat in February, controlling the action from the outset while picking up his first UFC victory.

After beating Vera in London, the 30-year-old Grant will face Damian Stasiak in what amounts to a hometown fight for him, as the Bishop Auckland native trains at SBG Manchester and should get a quality pop from the partisan crowd at the Manchester Arena. With another win on Saturday, Grant will put himself in position to move up the ladder and face bigger names in the deep and intriguing bantamweight division heading into 2017.

Marc Diakiese

When you’re an undefeated 23-year-old that has needed a combined 60 seconds to win your last two fights, people need to be paying attention when you step into the Octagon for the first time. Diakese accomplished that feat in his wins over Rick Selvarajah and Kane Mousah, earning a call up to the big leagues.

Originally scheduled to take on Reza Madadi, the Atherton Submission Wrestling product will instead face Lukasz Sajewski after “Mad Dog” was forced off the card last week due to injury.

While it’s dangerous to look too far into the future based off a pair of blistering finishes and an unbeaten run to begin his career on the regional circuit, those recent outings – and the whole of Diakiese’s career to date – show the kind of potential the still developing fighter brings with him to the cage. Surrounded by a good camp and graced with obvious talent, he’s definitely someone to pay close attention to this weekend and a name to remember for the future.

Fight Night Portland: Fantasy Rewind


The main event from Portland certainly did not disappoint on Saturday night, as John Lineker eked out a razor close split decision over John Dodson after five hard fought rounds.Lineker showed off an aggressive game plan as he stalked Dodson around the Octagon for all 25 minutes while throwing more than 300 significant strikes, and he never slowed down once over the course of the fight. Dodson fired back with some extremely nasty counter shots and even uncorked a pair of head kicks that landed flush, but somehow Lineker managed to walk through both of them. When it was all over, Lineker’s dogg … Read the Full Article Here
Source: ufc


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