UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson preview and predictions
To be honest I could care less about a rematch between these two fighter’s at their current age. I’d rather see Bisping in a rematch with Rockhold or versus Weidman. However, because of a brutal knockout at UFC 100 by Henderson over Bisping, the Brit would love nothing more than to avenge his loss at the main event in front of a hometown crowd. We’ll take a closer look at the rest of the main card for UFC 204.
Mirsae Bektic (10-0) vs. Russell Doane (14-6)
Maybe opponents should start being more careful when they are slated to take on Bektic. I kid, I kid, but for the third straight time in Bektic’s UFC career his opponents withdrew to injury. Originally Bektic was scheduled to fight Arnold Allen, but will now face Russell Doane, who is being praised for stepping in with five days notice. As much as I admire Doane for stepping up to the plate in such short time Bektic should put away Doane easily.
Prediction: Bektic by second-round knockout.
Stefan Struve (31-8) vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (19-5-1)
For starters Struve is huge! Standing at 6’11 Struve possesses all the talent to be one of the top contenders in the Heavyweight division, but injuries and losses to top competition have held him back in the mix with other guys fighting for a top spot. Omielanczuk has won his last three fights, but is facing a serious jump in competition. Even against a bigger opponent, Omielanczuk will find a way to stay in early and get in some work against Struve, but it won’t be enough.
Prediction: Struve wins by third-round knockout.
Ovince Saint Preux (19-8) vs. Jimi Manuwa (15-2)
This is one of the fights I’m most excited for. This could possibly be the top fight of the night. Saint Preux, is one of the upcoming and premiere athletes in the UFC. A former football player for the University of Tennessee, he has it all going for him at the moment, and is going to be big draw in the future for the UFC. However, standing in his way is Jimi Manuwa who has finished all but one of his wins inside the UFC. I see ‘brawl’ written all over this, but I think Saint Preux will take his time and utilize his striking and wrestling to try to maintain control of the fight. Manuwa just seems like too much for him at the moment.
Prediction: Manuwa wins by third-round TKO.
Victor Belfort (25-12) vs. Gegard Mousasi (39-6-2)
Once upon a time Belfort was one of the baddest and scariest dudes in the UFC. Okay well he’s still pretty scary, but gets gassed after some of his recent fast starts. Take a look back at his fight with Chris Weidman when he nearly upset the champ with a barrage of punches, but got winded quickly as Weidman was able to capitalize. On the other side I have to keep refreshing the page when I keep seeing that Mousasi is coming in as one of the biggest underdogs in the card.
Mousasi is smooth when it comes to his striking, and should be able to distance himself from Belfort for majority of the fight. If Mousasi is able to survive a possible barrage of punches or fast start from Belfort, he should have no problem making him pay.
Prediction: Mousasi by third-round tko.
Michael Bisping (30-7) vs. Dan Henderson (32-14)
The moment we have all been waiting for Michael “The Count” Bisping has massively improved since having his soul taken from him at UFC 100 by Henderson. Bisping is a much smarter fighter and his boxing is superb. Bisping’s accuracy itself is on another level with him landing over 75 significant strikes in his last five wins, with two of those opponents being Anderson Silva and the former champ Luke Rockhold.
Henderson at 46 years old still has a very good chance here to pull off an upset. The power he has at his age is ridiculous, and can knockout anybody in the current middleweight division.
Prediction: Bisping by second-round TKO.
Orlando Torres covers UFC for MyFantasySportsTalk, you can follow him on Twitter @itslandoyo