With 82 professional bouts between them, neither Michael Bisping nor Dan Henderson is easily rattled.
This was apparent when the wily pair squared off at last night’s ceremonial weigh-in ahead of their middleweight title fight at UFC 204, which takes place in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Manchester Arena.
Henderson, who has made it abundantly clear throughout the build-up to this contest that it will be his last, grinned as he stood face to face with Bisping. The opportunity to author a fairytale conclusion to an amazing career by capturing a UFC title in his farewell fight was only hours away, while a hostile Manchester crowd was baying for his demise, but neither of those things seemed to faze ‘Hendo’.
Bisping had reasons to look anxious too. He has been waiting for a chance to avenge an astoundingly vicious KO defeat to Henderson for some seven years and the time was almost upon him. But that opportunity will come in front of a massive hometown crowd – something that can thrill and delight a fighter but also has the power to unnerve. Like his old rival however, Bisping didn’t seem to be feeling any pressure.
Of course, ‘The Count’ did have a few nasty words for the 46-year-old American and they were captured by the UFC Embedded cameras.
“You’re going down tomorrow night boy,” said the always vocal champion. “With that fat belly. You’re gonna pay the price. I’m going to smash your f**king face in. Smash your f**king face in. You old bastard.”
He wasn’t going to get in Henderson’s head, he knew that, but he said it anyway. It was just Bisping being Bisping. Dan being Dan, replied “Hope you try”.
You can watch the final episode of UFC 204 Embedded below…