The time is now for 30 year old Michael "The Count" Bisping to try and take that next step. The winner of TUF season 3 has yet to lose since dropping down to 185, but this fight will be a significant step up in competition for him as a middleweight. Michael has a professional record of 17-1 with 11 wins by knockout and 4 wins by submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced is 60.5% (source Sherdog.com). The Liverpool native is an enormous draw in the U.K. and a win here could propel him to a shot at the world championship.
At 38 years old and with lots of mileage on him, Dan Henderson is the definition of a "grizzled veteran." The former Pride champ in two weight classes has fought a virtual who's who of MMA royalty over the years. Dan sports a professional record of 24-7. 10 of those wins came by way of knockout and 1 came by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of his opponents is 69.7%. As impressive as that is, the numbers really don't do justice to just how many world class opponents this guy has faced.
Bisping is a very talented fighter and has clearly found the weight class for him at 185. With more experience against world class competition I wouldn't be surprised to see him one day fighting for the middleweight championship. Even at this advanced stage in his career, however, I see Dan as being both more durable and ring savvy (to use a boxing term). I also think that a significant amount of this fight will be spent on the mat. If Dan can control Bisping and score with some nice ground and pound, I look for Henderson to take a decision (his usual method of victory). One thing to note, however, is that the guys at WolfsLair supposedly claim that Michael's wrestling has improved tremendously and that Dan will struggle to keep him down. Can Bisping do what Wanderlei, Nogueira, Belfort, Franklin and others couldn't and knock Henderson out? This is the fight that I am most looking forward to at UFC 100 and one that I think will be a great matchup.