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Bisping To Face Franklin/Henderson Winner on TUF 9

Dan Henderson UFC MMA
(They don’t call him “Handsome Dan” for nothing. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Sherdog has confirmed that Michael Bisping’s next opponent — and his rival coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter — will be the winner of the Rich Franklin/Dan Henderson fight at UFC 93 (January 17th; Dublin, Ireland). TUF‘s “U.S. vs. U.K.” season will feature middleweights and welterweights, and is slated to premiere in April ’09.

Though a win against either Ace or Hendo could qualify Bisping for an immediate title shot against Anderson Silva (or Patrick Cote, LOL) — and wins against Franklin and Bisping could earn Henderson a rematch with the Spider — you have to wonder what’s in it for Rich Franklin. Let’s say he becomes the U.S. coach for TUF 9. He’ll have to drop back down to middleweight to fight Michael Bisping at the end of the season, but if he beats Bisping, it’s not like he’ll move any closer to a third middleweight title shot against Silva. He’ll just return to 205, with his standing in that division no higher than it was in the first place. Could it be that Ace just needs another Hummer to auction off?

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Bisping and Henderson Rumored as ‘TUF 9′ Coaches

Michael Bisping Forrest Griffin UFC MMA ring girls
(Will Michael Bisping follow in Forrest Griffin’s footsteps? Photo courtesy of daylife.com)

From TheSun.co.uk:

Michael Bisping is hot favourite to be named as one of the coaches on the new series of The Ultimate Fighter

The UFC have not yet offered Bisping the coach’s role on TUF 9 because he is scheduled to fight Chris Leben at UFC 89 at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on October 18.

But SunSport understands Dana White will immediately hand the British star a contract to appear on the show if he overcomes Leben next month.

It is believed Dan Henderson will coach the US team, with the TUF 9 finale featuring him in a clash for the #1 middleweight contender’s spot against Bisping, which could take place in December next year.

As the UFC’s only British star, it makes sense that the TUF 3 winner would be chosen as a coach for the “U.S. vs. U.K.” season of The Ultimate Fighter. But it also makes you wonder who will be picked to lead the British team if Bisping loses to Leben. We’re assuming it would still be Bisping — but then would a fight between him and Hendo really be a #1 contender match? When contacted by MMA Weekly, The Count confirmed that he hadn’t been made an offer yet, but he’d certainly be open to one:

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