UFC 204 Bisping vs Henderson prediction

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Analyzing Micheal Bisping

i want to put a spotlight on the fact that the Michael Bisping who will defend his belt at UFC 204 is a much improved version of the one Dan Henderson defeated back at UFC 100.

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Bisping’s footwork is so raw here his back leg is crossing over behind his lead leg when circling to his left this is a rookie level technical flaw, if Henderson had stepped in after the jab had missed Bisping would of been in no position to defend himself. Bisping’s stance isn’t solid which will and did cause balance problems as well as inefficient footwork due to the fact he’s having to correct his stance frequently.

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Creating situations like this where Bisping cannot counter with anything meaningful under attack because his feet aren’t set properly,this is a nothing jab in which his back foot comes off the floor and his head is leaning over his lead leg very amateurish.

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Henderson backs Bisping to the cage, Bisping gets caught with a left hook (keep a mental note of the left hook for later) and tries to pivot out in an attempt to avoid Henderson’s right hand but he’s off balance and instead trips back into the cage.

Which brings me to Bisping 2.0.

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You can see how much more comfortable Bisping is in his stance, chin is down the feet don’t come too close together & his weight is evenly distributed ensuring Bisping can throw counters with power if needs be.

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Bisping misses with a left hook anticipates Anderson’s counter hook & steps out, you see here how important the solid base is as Bisping version one wouldn’t be in a position to step back in with punches like we see him do here.

The contrast in improvement is most evident in the two fights with Luke Rockhold, although Bisping had sharpened his technique significantly in the time between the Henderson fight to the first Rockhold fight at times he was still reverting to type.

Bisping vs Rockhold 1.

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Signs of the skittish movement, jumping into attacks without setting them up, and whilst moving backwards bringing the feet together collapsing his stance resulting in him being squared up against the cage.

Bisping vs Rockhold 2.

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Bisping misses this jab but importantly moves out to his left with his lead foot, first the correct way to retain the balance in his stance when moving in that direction from an orthodox stance. Unlike in the earlier footage against Henderson if Rockhold had stepped in after Bisping fell short there’s an option to counter with either hand.

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In the next exchange Bisping does exactly that, this time Rockhold leads and Bisping Slips the straight left steps to his right retains his stance and that opens up the angle to counter with the two punch straight right left hook combination.

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Which brings me on to the sequence that changed the fight, as an orthodox fighting a southpaw ideally you want your left foot (front foot) to be outside the southpaw’s right foot (front foot) as much as possible. Rockhold over extends with his jab which partially lands but crucially it gives Bisping the superior position of being outside the southpaw’s front foot, the right hand counter from Bisping misses which Rockhold saw coming what he didn’t see was the left hook due to the angle Bisping was positioned in it came from outside of Rockhold’s peripheral vision and the old saying “its the punches you don’t see coming that do the most damage” rang true here.

A fact that isn’t getting any attention is out of Bisping’s last six fights only one fighter has been an Orthodox C.B.Dolloway, as such Bisping has to make an adjustment in the direction he’s moving and the distance he’s standing from his opponent when he steps in with Henderson. For the most part of Bisping’s back & forth contest with Dolloway he did all the things he needs to do to keep Henderson off of him and be successful with his attacks, so i will use extracts from the Dolloway fight as my blueprint for Bisping’s Game plan.

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Bisping started off the fight staying at long range and being first to attack not allowing Dolloway to walk him down, he had Dolloway chasing him but controlled the pressure by staying well away from Dolloway’s short power shots also moving in both directions keeping Dolloway guessing.

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Towards the end of round one Bisping got a little greedy and in an attempt to land a shorter more powerful punch he gets caught up in Dolloway’s power zone. Bisping needs to be careful not to make this mistake against Henderson, Hendo only needs one half chance to put you to sleep in that sort of tight range Bisping must retain discipline.

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The distance Bisping keeps in these three clips is exactly where he wants to be against Henderson, Henderson does all his damage up close that’s where he’s most dangerous. Bisping has five rounds to take his time pick at Henderson frustrate him & if the fight gets into the latter rounds he can increase his strike output to look for the finish when Bisping’s tremendous stamina will come into play.

 

Analyzing Dan Henderson

To further emphasise Henderson’s ineffectiveness at long range all three TKO losses he’s suffered have materialized because the opponent caught Henderson outside of or trying to breach the no mans land between the two fighters.

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Henderson is truly unique in the fact that he can generate ridiculous power in small spaces with little or no momentum. When or if  Henderson does manage to breach the no mans land he can land a variety of strikes that can end a fight, his overhand right has been nicknamed the H-Bomb and rightfully so he’s brilliant at timing it and he doesn’t need to connect clean to turn the lights off but don’t sleep on the fact that he has hurt and finished fighters with other techniques.

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Talking about generating power in tight spaces here Henderson on the verge of being stopped reverses the situation and manages to generate power from a position which he shouldn’t really be able to, take into account Fedor weighed in 16 pounds heavier and has a reputation for being able to take a good shot which makes this ko all the more mind blowing.

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how about this for unusual, Henderson swings Shogun towards the right hand from the clinch and times the right hook perfectly on the break.

 

Henderson vs Boetsch

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This is the consequence of pressing Henderson and getting a little too close, Tim Boetsch misjudges the distance and consequently is in no position to defend himself Henderson realises this and capitalises.

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Once Henderson had Tim hurt he wasted no time jumping on him dropping him again with a knee and then for the last time with an uppercut.

 

Henderson vs Lombard

The way Lombard came out against Henderson surprised me because Lombard has previously fought more cautiously against strikers with far fewer credentials than Henderson, so when he came out uncharacteristically aggressive i was intrigued as to how Henderson would react. Sure enough he used Lombard’s aggression against him by luring out a lead right hook to which Henderson countered with his signature move.

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Lombard rallied and manage to drop Henderson in the exchange after this punch but Dan held on till the end of the round. In the second round Henderson landed a high right kick which stunned Lombard and then finished with another unorthodox strike only Dan Henderson would ever throw in a scenario like this and manage to execute.

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Going back to the point that Henderson will be the first Orthodox stance fighter Bisping will face in a while in fact the first one since April 2015, C.B.Dolloway managed to drop Bisping with a left hook i pointed this out in the Bisping analysis section. Although Dolloway didn’t do much damage with it after that knockdown the opening for the left hook was still there.

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The reason the left hook’s open is because though Bisping has improved technically he still has a distinct habit of returning his right arm low after throwing his right hand, you can see this for yourself if you scroll up and see the clips of Bisping against Silva and Rockhold he even drops his right hand occasionally when he throws a jab. Against southpaws due to the longer distance i explained earlier its harder for a Southpaw to capitalize on this flaw as there’s no short punch available, a Southpaw would need to throw a long left hand or a left high kick to score which becomes more high risk should the strike not land.

The Bisping camp will be spending a large sum of the training camp looking to avoid the big right hand of Henderson, to avoid the right hand Bisping will have to circle left and if Henderson or anyone in Henderson’s camp has been watching fight tape they will have seen this window of opportunity for the left hook and could use the right hand as a smoke screen to draw Bisping to Lead and then counter with this.

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Regardless of what strike Henderson throws it’s pretty evident he needs to find a way to get close to Bisping in order to connect, if he chooses to strike from range he will likely get picked apart. Dan Henderson has got a long time to set something up although he shouldn’t leave it too late, Michael Bisping has never been the hardest guy to hurt i say Henderson has much more than just a punchers chance here especially if he’s done his homework.

 

Prediction

All the data and stats as well as the odds say the most probable outcome is in the favour of Micheal Bisping, usually after analysing footage i too also go with the most probable outcome. I do think it’s most likely Bisping wins but I’m going to follow this feeling I’ve got that Dan Henderson might just pull this off, Stylistically Henderson even at this age is a troublesome match up for Bisping there’s far better match ups for him in terms of fighters with a higher ranking than Dan Henderson. If Henderson was fighting either Rockhold, Weidman, Romero or Jacare i would assume Henderson has less than 15% probability of winning, But with Bisping i feel his probability is far better and could it be more than just a coincidence that Bisping is the man out of all those bad stylistic match ups for Dan to be holding the title?. Maybe the idealist in me is buying into the fairy tale ending and putting too much emphasis on the fact that this

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still haunts Bisping & may play a Psychological factor on the night. Regardless of why , I’m going to break the mold and say the wily old fox might just pull this off and spoil the homecoming

Dan Henderson wins by tko.

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