Dan Henderson gave it all he had, but his chances of ever winning a UFC belt ran out Saturday in Manchester, England.
Henderson, 46, was set to retire after his last fight, but when the opportunity to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 204 arose, he committed to putting on the gloves and entering the octagon one more time.
But the champ proved to be too much in front of his hometown fans, as he became the all-time leader in UFC wins with a unanimous-decision victory, 48-47, 48-47, 49-46.
Bisping certainly had to earn the win, though, as Henderson had two huge moments go his way in Rounds 1 and 2.
Henderson nearly won the fight twice with two right jabs that rocked Bisping, but the champion somehow managed to survive both blows to extend the bout.
The first round clearly went to Henderson, who busted Bisping open right below the eye toward the end of the five minutes. The big knockdown in the second apparently was enough to give Henderson a win in Round 2 for some of the judges.
But the longer the fight went on, the better the odds became for Bisping. He had a big advantage when it came to number of total strikes (130-87) and significant strikes (119-81), many of which came during the championship rounds.
Regardless, it was a close bout, and Bisping showed class and respect for Henderson, who later made it official that this was his last fight.
What a fight. And what a career for Henderson.
Thumbnail photo via Per Haljestam/USA TODAY Sports Images