Shortly after the events at UFC 200, UFC President Dana White announced that UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping will defend his title against 45-year-old Dan Henderson. With no official confirmation of when the title bout will take place, we do know it will be toward the end of this year.
The announcement has not gone down smoothly with a couple of well known UFC Middleweight's including former champion Chris 'The All American' Weidman. The New York native won the title back in 2013 at UFC 162, when he knocked out Anderson Silva, who is regarded by many as the greatest fighter of all-time.
Weidman lost the belt at UFC 194 when he was knocked out by Luke Rockhold and the pair were scheduled for a rematch, but injury hit Weidman and he had to withdraw from the fight due to a cervical disc herniation. With only 17 days until their scheduled rematch, 'Count' Bisping stepped into the fray and ultimately knocked out Luke Rockhold, thus becoming the first ever Englishman to hold a UFC title and what's even more remarkable is that the Manchester fighter did it with less than three weeks notice.
Should Bisping be fighting someone else?
It's clear to see that 'The All American' isn't happy with the decision taken by the UFC after saying their decision is "a joke of the system" and that's because Dan Henderson currently sits at number 13 in the Middleweight pound-for-pound rankings. There are a handful of fighters which could've stepped up to challenge Bisping, not only would they offer more of challenge, but most importantly, they deserve a shot at the belt more than 'Hendo'.
End of the day I feel I'm best in world and will get my belt back by beating whoever it takes but this is a joke of a system.— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) July 10, 2016
Although Rockhold is the number one ranked Middleweight fighter, it's more likely that someone else would step into the octagon when a champion holds his first defence, rather than an instant rematch and it only seems fitting that Chris Weidman who was a great champion, should have challenged Michael Bisping.
Jacare Souza is another fighter that is in a better position than Henderson and the Brazilian's manager made it very clear that Bisping vs Henderson 2 is a mistake. Gilberto Faria said promoting Henderson as Bisping's first title defence "makes no sense" because "out of the last nine fights, (Henderson) lost six." Faria added, "If you want to do a tribute to Hendo, put him in the (UFC) Hall of Fame, not a title shot". Jacare has never fought for a UFC title and given he is ranked third in the Middleweight P4P rankings, he is in a good position to one day challenge for it.
Before the fight was announced Henderson said he would like to challenge Bisping and that this fight would serve as his final walk into the octagon and Bisping will be hoping that the rematch will serve as the perfect revenge. The pair met at UFC 100 as part of a UFC Middleweight eliminator fight and it was the American that came out on top, knocking out his opponent midway through the second round with a vicious overhand right.
Since then Bisping has won 11 out of 15 fights, which inluded the stunning first round knockout against Luke Rockhold to win the Middleweight title. Henderson on the other hand has won 7 out of a possible 14 fights, which puts the Brit in a better vein of form. The latest of Henderson's fights came at UFC 199 where he handed Cuban Hector Lombard only his second knockout defeat.
Michael Bisping is the type of fighter that will step into the octagon with anybody, so whether it is Chris Weidman or Dan Henderson, we will be seeing Count Bisping in the octagon very soon and if he holds onto the Middleweight belt, we could see a potential fight between himself and 'The All American' Weidman.