July 11, 2009 | Las Vegas
By the summer of 2009, Dan Henderson was a grizzled veteran who had already seen and done essentially everything MMA had to offer. One-night tournaments? Sure. Pride grand prix? Been there. Becoming the only simultaneous champion in two divisions in a major promotion in MMA history? Of course. Fighting heavyweights? Oh, yeah. Ultimate Fighting Championship title fights in two weight classes? Yep.
Little got Henderson riled up as he approached his 40th birthday. The UFC placed him opposite “The Ultimate Fighter” winner and British pot-stirrer Michael Bisping for the ninth season of the long-running reality show; however, as the United Kingdom’s team won fight after fight, things got reasonably heated between the two coaches. Never much for trash talking, the deepest Henderson went was calling Bisping a “douchebag,” but that still underscored the old fellow’s dislike for his younger opponent as the two prepared to meet at UFC 100, the biggest show in the promotion’s history.
Bisping’s volume kickboxing game was already well-established. His game plan was obviously to outwork Henderson behind a crisp jab-cross combination and constant movement to keep him out of danger. Unfortunately for Bisping, his movement was ill-advised, and he consistently circled directly into Henderson’s monstrous right hand. Even before the end of the first round, UFC announcer Mike Goldberg -- think about that for a second -- had picked up on this Bisping tendency, and Henderson was way ahead of the commentary booth. He peppered the Englishman with a series of overhands, crosses and uppercuts, and it was obvious that a big one was on the way if BIsping did not adjust.
Bisping failed to change up things in the second, and although he landed more of his patented volume, Henderson also popped him repeatedly with the right. At 1:47 of the round, the American landed an inside low kick and then a left hook. A split second later, Henderson tried the inside low kick again, and, as Bisping circled away from it, the right hand that followed landed directly on his jaw. He was asleep before he hit the floor, and the follow-up -- intended to shut up Bisping for good, according to Henderson -- was more an exclamation point than necessary finisher.
It was brutal, iconic and one of the cleanest knockouts on one of the biggest stages in MMA history.
Number 9 » Backyard Façade Crumbles