There's nothing more satisfying than an arrogant loudmouth getting his comeuppance. Have to be subjected to their endless prattling is more than enough incentive to see them put in their place. Embarrassing them is great, seeing the look on their face when they realize they've been outwitted is priceless. But Dan Henderson doesn't think, he hits.
And that's exactly what happened when he met Michael Bisping inside at the Octagon at UFC 100.
When the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion's right hand was sent crashing into his opponent's jaw, Bisping's body seized up and stiffened while everyone watching became the polar opposite; a symbol of kinetic energy, jumping up and cheering loudly.
Before "Hendo" meets Mauricio Rua this Saturday (Nov. 19) in the main event of UFC 139, we'll take a look at the American's picture perfect knockout over the cocky Brit. If "Shogun" gets caught with an H-Bomb as powerful as the one that dropped "The Count," you can be sure it will be lights out for the Brazilian.
Let's dive in.
With a victory over Rich Franklin at UFC 93, Henderson earned the coaching spot opposite Bisping during The Ultimate Fighter's (TUF) ninth season, a "United States vs. United Kingdom" themed installment.
Unless you scout the English mixed martial arts (MMA) regional scene for talent, chances are most -- if not all -- of the fighters fighting for UK side were unknown to you.
Combine that with the way "The Count" carries himself and his arrogant attitude and you almost immediately started the season off by rooting for Henderson -- with his blue-collar, brawling style -- and the Yank team.
Something funny happened during the course of the show, however.
The United Kingdom side knew they were at a distinct disadvantage -- it's no secret that fighters across the pond are playing catch-up in the sport -- and as a result banded together in a way that their opponents didn't.
Halfway through the season, the camaraderie displayed by the Brits made them unlikely favorites and despite all odds, three Englishman were slotted in the finals of the two weight classes.
It was a feel good story that made that TUF 9 one of the last wholly entertaining seasons of the series. And for all intents and purposes, Bisping was a good coach.
That sneaky Briton almost made you forget why you hated him in the first place.
But in three weeks between the TUF 9 Finale and UFC 100, "The Count" of old came back right on cue. Henderson refused to get sucked into the verbal warfare as usual but there was a different air about him this time around.
It was almost as if he was saying, "I know something you don't know" without actually saying anything at all.
On a night that celebrated the promotion's centennial event after nearly 20 years of promoting fights, it was Dan Henderson -- not UFC posterboys Brock Lesnar or Georges St. Pierre -- that provided the defining moment.
Let's take a closer look.
The American immediately begins looking to land that right hand. He cuts Bisping off from moving away from it, forcing the Briton to circle towards the kill shot.
Henderson throws it twice but neither finds its mark. Bisping, for his part, is landing leg kicks, duly aware of what entering into an extended exchange with "Hendo" will lead to.
A little over a minute in the fight, Henderson finally lands with enough force to stagger his opponent. "The Count" pedals backwards, being stopped only by the cage, while the American unloads. The crowd begins to roar, anticipating a quick finish to the bout but Bisping offers them no such satisfaction.
The Englishman then spends the round circling the outside, avoiding the power shots of his opponent while landing crisp punches of his own. These strikes don't faze the American in the slightest. Henderson has been in the ring with the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Anderson Silva.
He's knows a thing or two about taking a hard shot and not going down.
In between the first and second rounds, Bisping's cornerman is absolutely livid that his fighter keeps circling towards Henderson's right hand. Knowing what we know now, perhaps he should seek a career as a psychic rather than a trainer.
In the second, Henderson continues to stalk "The Count." Walking through every punch Bisping throws, the American opts for patience, waiting for the perfect moment to end the fight.
It comes over halfway through the round. Henderson lands a small leg kick and immediately follows it up with a left jab. Seconds later, he lands the same leg kick but instead comes over with a monstrous right hand that immediately forces the Briton's brain to reboot.
As "The Count" crashes to the mat, "Dangerous Dan" follows suit as he flies through the air to deliver a cherry-on-top forearm to the unconscious fighter.
"Hendo" caught some flack for his post-fight comments about the diving forearm being mostly to shut Bisping up. He backtracked quickly, however. Having never been in the cage myself, I will reserve judgment as I don't have the basis of comparison.
I don't know what it feels like to have adrenaline pumping through every vein, having taken punch after punch, only to land one of your own that drops your opponent flat onto his back.
Obviously, if what Henderson said immediately after the fight is true, it's a devastatingly poor display of sportsmanship. But it also is a warning to those fighters who think it's more important to talk before the fight than it is to actually perform well in the cage. The Team Quest wrestler bolted from the UFC after that fight after the promotion was unwilling to pay him what he felt he deserved. He quickly signed with Strikeforce and made his debut in a middleweight title fight against Jake Shields.
The fight went according to plan at first. Stifle Shields on his feet and land that bomb of a right. Except somehow Shields survived and outgrappled the UFC vet to a five-round decision. A move back to 205-pounds proved more fruitful for "Hendo." A technical knockout (TKO) victory over Renato Sobral got him back in the win column while a brutal knockout against Rafael Cavalcante earned him the light heavyweight strap.
After the Zuffa buyout of Strikeforce and Henderson's TKO victory over Fedor Emelianenko, it wasn't long before the American found himself signing a contract to get back inside the Octagon. His first bout back won't be as as "Shogun" is looking to put himself right back in the title hunt.
But should "Hendo" win, does he stay at light heavyweight and challenge the champion there? Or head back down to middleweight? It might depend on if his teammate and long-time friend Chael Sonnen is successful in his attempt to usurp the 185-pound crown from "The Spider."
What do you say, Maniacs? "Dangerous" Dan at 185-pounds or 205-pounds? Which would you prefer?