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Did Dan Henderson Deserve The Win At UFC 204?

So, yeah, wasn’t expecting that fight to go that way. Dan Henderson once again proved the adage that power is the last thing to leave an older fighter. Henderson nearly flat lined Michael Bisping a number of times during their UFC 204 main event showdown. While most media outlets and MMA pundits didn’t give Henderson a snowball’s chance, me included, the veteran proved that the power in his right hand has the ability to make the impossible possible. Though Bisping showed heart and performed well in the last few rounds of the bout, is there a case to say that Dan Henderson actually won the fight?

Before we delve deep into notion that scoring the fight as a whole, Pride never dies and all that good stuff, it should be noted that I don’t think the scoring system we have in MMA is all that horrible. Judges on the other hand can be complete incompetent. Now, let’s consider the fact that of the two fighters in the main event, Michael Bisping surely took more damage. While Dan Henderson may not have won every round during their match up, he did manage to land a few of those one hitter quitters on Bisping’s chin. Credit to Bisping surviving, but that doesn’t change the fact that Henderson was able to rearrange the champion’s face in the process.

Now here’s the thing. Other than the few moments of Dan Henderson hurting the champ, most of the fight so Michael Bisping styling on the long time veteran. Henderson didn’t throw in combination which meant that through some well placed feints and speedy combinations, Bisping was able to deal with Hendo with general ease. But we have to wonder if well placed shots with little power necessarily outweighs hard, brutalizing blows. The strikes that Henderson landed were more telling and brought the fight closer to a definitive conclusion than the work Bisping had done through five rounds.

The fifth and final round was interesting as well as we saw Dan Henderson rely on his wrestling to score some points against the champion. The round ended up being the deciding factor in the fight and had Henderson landed just a few more meaningful strikes, the fifth would have likely gone to the veteran. All that said it’s hard not to admire Bisping’s work throughout the match as well as his ability to take a beating and come back for more.

While we have to consider damage as the biggest criteria in a match up, the truth of the matter is that until the scoring system is changed, there’s no way a fighter can simply rely on landing damaging blows to win a fight. One hard shot can’t outweigh the dozens of strikes Bisping was able to land. Would have been nice to see Henderson make history and walk away with the belt, but he’ll just have to settle on having an amazing career with Hall of Fame status written all over it.

Who do you think won the main event of UFC 204?

Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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