Posted 08/11/2016 at 12:26 PM
William Hill became the first betting shop to release odds for Michael Biping's first middleweight title defense against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 in Manchester, England, on Oct. 8.
The book opened Bisping as a -227 favorite, leaving 'Hendo' at +162 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $162). There is no 'over/under' as of yet.
Bisping won the middleweight strap in stunning fashion by scoring a first-round knockout win over Luke Rockhold as a +500 underdog at UFC 199. Bisping took the fight on short notice when defending champ Chris Weidman pulled out of his scheduled rematch with Rockhold.
This will be a rematch of UFC 100 when Henderson garnered 2009 Knockout of the Year honors with his second-round finish of 'The Count' as a -220 'chalk.'
Henderson, who turns 46 on Aug. 24, is just 3-6 in his last nine UFC fights. However, two of those defeats were of the split-decision variety and he has won two of his last three bouts with impressive KOs, including a second-round finish of Hector Lombard with a head kick and a back elbow on the same night Bisping won the title.
With Weidman injured and desperately wanting to fight on the UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden in New York City, he wasn't an option. Even though Rockhold had already beaten Bisping, it didn't seem logical to give an immediate rematch to someone who was decisively beaten by early first-round finish against an opponent who took the fight on short notice.
Therefore, considering Henderson's fan base and the rematch angle for the champ, the promotion opted to book Bisping-Hendo 2. Henderson says this will be his last career fight, regardless of the outcome, but I wouldn't bet monopoly money on that scenario.