It’s UFC 204, the show before the really, really big show at Madison Square Garden next month. But don’t let the throngs of hype around UFC 205 fool you; this Saturday’s show in Manchester, England has great potential and great story lines, even without a funny Irish guy hurling insults at his opponent.
Where else can you see a 46-year-old man, who has never worn UFC gold, bank on one right hand to win him a match, in the other guy’s home country?
This is a dream card if ever there was one. There’s so much feel good potential on this card that’s it’s too bad you couldn’t script it, WWE-style, to make it an MMA card for the ages. What if Vince McMahon were booking the main event of UFC 204? What would it look like?
Hey, if CM Punk can dream, so can we:
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson
Let’s start with the ring entrances.
Henderson must enter the ring to Bobby Roode’s “Glorious.”
Considering that Henderson has had multiple title shots and opportunities, the lyrics totally fit. Imagine Henderson coming to the Octagon, in hostile territory, draped in the American flag, to this music:
Now Bisping has a few choices. He could come out to Rule Brittania, which was also The British Bulldog’s theme music:
But that might be too patriotic. What about a song that taunts Henderson. Can you imagine Bisping coming out this child’s song, just to piss Henderson off:
Or Bisping could get more philosophical, taunting Henderson about all his opportunities. And use a British band to get the crowd going.
“Backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out,” is the key line.
As for the fight, we know how this has to begin. The H-Bomb.
Henderson needs to drop that right hand on Bisping in the opening seconds, Jake Shields style, and send Bisping crashing to the ground.
Bisping looks out of it as Henderson delivers three more right hands. Surprisingly the ref doesn’t stop the match. Henderson stops hitting him and instead looks up at the crowd frustrated. In the blink of an eye, Bisping pops up, Undertaker style, and looks at Henderson, something like this:
Bisping shows Henderson that he’s not going to get knocked out this time. Bisping scrambles to his feet as the British crowd goes nuts.
Now it’s on. Henderson, befuddled and tired because Bisping took his best shots, starts trading with Bisping, and suddenly the fight is turning into a slobberknocker, like this:
The bell rings to end Round 1, and the crowd is at its feet.
Of course, like any good wrestling booker knows, you can’t have a match full of high spots. The crowd will get tired of it and the great moves will start to look dull. So you need a rest period, and them something to build up to the action again.
The round begins with Bisping going for the takedown, putting Henderson on his back faster than Mickey Gall laid out CM Punk. Now Henderson is a great wrestler, but he’s exhausted, and there’s nothing that can be done here except for both guys to lay and pray:
Both fighters enjoy a breather in Round 2.
Bisping finally remembers where he is at after the punches in the first round. Henderson gets his second wind. Hendo comes out throwing wild punches again, but nothing is connecting. It looks like Roman Reigns somehow got into the Octagon.
Bisping starts to take control and starts landing. Bisping encourages the crowd to get into it. The crowds chants “This is Awesome” as Bisping turns this into a boxing clinic. A short elbow opens a cut above Henderson’s left eye. The blood starts to pour and Henderson, sporting a crimson mask, realizes that he needs to get desperate to pull off a victory. Out of nowhere, Henderson lands a left hook-right hand sequence that puts Bisping on his back.
Henderson takes his back and puts on a rear-naked choke. We’re seconds away from a new champion, but Henderson struggles to put it on correctly. Bisping raises his hand like he’s going to tap, but resists. Suddenly, Bisping’s corner jumps onto the Octagon apron, distracting the referee momentarily. Bisping appears to tap while the referee isn’t looking, Henderson releases the hold, and the Manchester crowd goes nuts.
Something like this:
The bell rings to end the round.
The crowd, realizing that the sequence to end the previous round was totally unfair, is kinder to Henderson. Now, to start the round, there are dueling chants of “Let’s go Bisping” and “Bisping sucks.” Henderson, the American hero has turned the crowd in his favor.
Bisping, familiar with the underdog role, decides to take Hendo down before he unleashes another right hand. Henderson catches him with a knee and then an elbow that slices the corner of Bisping’s eye open. We now have dual hard-way blood. Henderson follows Bisping into the cage and Bisping holds on for dear life. Both guys are exhausted, with each one throwing Muay Thai knees up against the cage. The Manchester crowd realizes this fight is everything they wanted and more.
The two are just hanging on each other trading punches and kicks, while gasping for air in the middle. Commentator Joe Rogan says, “As God as my witness, these two men are broken in half, but they are leaving it all in the cage tonight for you, the fans.”
The 4th round looks a lot like this classic:
We’re in Chael Sonnen choke territory now. Henderson is slightly ahead on points. Bisping needs a finish to keep Luke Rockhold’s championship.
Henderson rushes Bisping to start the round and connects with a right hand. Bisping, on instinct throws a left hand as Henderson is looking for the kill, and drops Henderson to the ground. Bisping jumps on top of him and lands five vicious right hands, knocking Henderson out for good. On the fifth punch, Rogan screams, “Will somebody stop the damn fight!”
It’s over and Bisping wins. Of course, the good guys goes over in his home country. The crowd goes nuts and it is Bisping’s destiny to defend his title in Manchester, England and enjoy one great moment in front of his fans.
Bisping helps Henderson up and the two shake hands and hug, like this:
In the post-fight interview, Bisping knows that every great promo must end with a threat or a promise, forgets about Henderson, and instead calls out his next challenger, saying he wants Luke Rockhold one more time, to permanently shut him up, and takes his girl, take her back to the playground where she belongs. Bisping let’s out a big WOOOO! and MMA is cool again.