The fight was no secret, as it’s been in the works, per UFC president Dana White, since UFC 200 in July. Bisping and Henderson have also spoken about the bout, but it’s finally been signed off. Bisping will put his UFC middleweight championship on the line for the first time in a rematch with Henderson at UFC 204 on Oct. 8 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Bisping (30-7) and Henderson (32-14) first met at UFC 100 in the summer of 2009. It was a bad night for Bisping, as Henderson landed his patented H-Bomb midway through the second round. Bisping will try to exact his revenge at UFC 204, but the stakes are much higher this time, as the Brit has the belt around his waist, and Henderson is taking his last shot at UFC gold. The former two-division Pride champion has said that, win or lose, he will retire following the fight with Bisping.
Chief among the other bouts announced for the UFC 204 fight card is a middleweight bout between No. 5 ranked Vitor Belfort (25-12) and No. 8 ranked Gegard Mousasi (39-6). It’s a high profile fight between two veterans that have remained relevant deep into their careers, and will likely serve as the emergency back-up plan should Bisping or Henderson get injured.
Other bouts announced for UFC 204: Bisping vs. Hendo 2 include Jimi Manuwa (15-2) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (19-8) in light heavyweight action, a heavyweight bout pitting Stefan Struve (31-8) vs. Ruslan Magomedov (14-1), a lightweight fight between Adriano Martins (28-7) and Leonardo Santos (15-4), Brad Pickett (26-11) vs. Iuri Alcantara (37-7, 1NC) in a bantamweight clash, and Davey Grant (10-2) vs. Damian Stasiak (10-2) at featherweight.
Tickets for UFC 204: Bisping vs. Hendo 2 go on sale to the general public on September 9.
Given the global interest in UFC 204, the event is scheduled to start at 11:00 p.m. locally in Manchester, with the main card due to start at approximately 3:00 a.m. to cater to as many fans as possible to watch live.