1. SubscriberVESPIN
    All For Fun
    United States
    03 Jun '09
    10 Oct '16 22:50
    Here is a article from ESPN's head writer for MMA / UFC. His take on the fight. I copied and paste instead of just giving the link.

    If Dan Henderson's retirement holds up (for the record, I think it will), he'll walk away on the heels of a five-round decision loss it seems plenty observers felt he won.

    Officially, Henderson came up short in his final bid to win a UFC title -- the one major championship he never held during his storied career.

    Scorecards at UFC 204 unanimously went to Michael Bisping (30-7), who enjoyed another career night in what has been the finest year of his professional career. Bisping won despite being knocked to the canvas twice. He was also transported to the hospital afterwards.

    Did the judges get this one right, or did a British champion benefit from some home cooking in Manchester? Here's What We Learned at UFC 204.

    UFC 204: A good recipe if you want to argue about judging

    We've been here before. When a five-round fight between an energy-conserving power hitter and a high-volume, stick-and-move striker goes the distance, expect a debate on the score. One guy is landing more. The other is landing harder.

    The fact all three judges agreed on Saturday that Bisping won is either good or bad, depending on which side of the fence you're on.

    Good, because it might show judges are finally all looking at a fight through a similar lens. Bad, because it might be damning evidence England was awarding that fight to Bisping no matter what.
    Michael Bisping improved to 30-7 with a unanimous decision win against Dan Henderson in his hometown of Manchester, England. Action Images / Matthew ChildsLivepicEDITO

    How you scored this fight basically comes down to three questions: Was the first round a 10-8 for Henderson? Who won the second round? Who won the fifth?

    The first is a tough one. There was not a lot of significant offense in the first four minutes. Then in the final 40 seconds, Henderson landed the H-Bomb and followed it with an elbow on the floor that opened Bisping up under the left eye.

    There are arguments for and against a 10-8 first round, in my opinion. On one hand, it was clearly the most definitive round in terms of damage. There was cosmetic damage for sure, but real damage, as well. This was not just some small cut caused by a seam in Henderson's glove. The swelling around Bisping's left eye affected him the rest of the night, and the cut was very deep. Obviously, the knockdown itself was a blatant sign of damage.

    But at the same time, Bisping never went limp from the initial right hand. The elbow was a big shot, but Bisping scrambled back to his feet shortly after it. In all, the entire sequence lasted -- 20 seconds? It was a wild 20 seconds, and the damage caused during that time was arguably more than a standard 10-9 round, but does essentially one right hand and a handful of elbows equal the sizable reward of a 10-8? When Bisping looked pretty clear-headed the entire time? Personally, I scored it 10-9.

    It's far easier to answer the question of who won the second round: Bisping. Hands down. I probably wouldn't call it a "dominant" round for Bisping, but he easily owned it up until the second knockdown of the fight. Henderson was on the fence with Bisping swarming and Henderson caught him with a right that put him on his back again. But like the first, Bisping never went limp and tied Henderson up in his guard immediately. And he actually went on to land more from the bottom than Henderson did from top the rest of the round.

    The fifth was just a good old fashioned close round. Bisping's best strike was a kick to the body. Henderson landed a grazing knee and he did score his only takedown of the fight, but did absolutely nothing with it. Bisping popped back up and although Henderson smothered him near the fence for a moment, it did not result in any real offense. Watching live, I scored it for Henderson. After re-watching, I had it slightly for Bisping.

    Look, it's easy to see why Henderson would feel he won the fight. In large part, he did what he wanted to do. He paced himself extremely well, which isn't easy against a cardio freak like Bisping. He landed the big shots that everyone knew he'd be hunting for, and they had a big effect. Henderson performed well, but ultimately credit goes to Bisping for surviving those right hands and implementing his game, which was to outwork Henderson over the course of the fight. Henderson fought for the knockout and didn't get one.

    The only argument in Henderson's favor is that he might have deserved a draw. If you end up giving him a 10-8 in the first and award him the fifth, it's a 47-47 tie. But as I just mentioned, its certainly not a given to do either of those.

    In other words, sleep tight Hendo. You fought a tremendous fight against a favored opponent, nine years your younger -- not to mention you have one of the top resumes in the sport's history. Don't lose a moment's rest to any feelings of being "robbed" in your curtain call.