Michael Bisping will have the hometown crowd in his corner Saturday when he defends his UFC middleweight crown against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 as a clear -235 favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The 37-year-old claimed the championship in style, handing Luke Rockhold a shocking first-round knockout on punches at UFC 199 and paying out as a distant +550 underdog. That improved his professional MMA record to 29-7 ahead of Saturday night’s matchup in Manchester, England.
Bisping now looks to avenge a second-round KO loss to Henderson in a UFC middleweight title eliminator at UFC 100 back in 2009. Henderson rewarded bettors as -250 chalk in that contest, while Bisping fell short as a +140 underdog.
Hard times followed for Bisping, winning just eight of his next 13 fights prior to his current four-fight win streak, which features three fights that went the distance prior to his KO victory over Rockhold.
“The Count” cashed in as -145 chalk in a unanimous decision win over C.B. Dollaway at UFC 186, before settling for a split decision as a -150 favorite against Thales Leites in the UFC Fight Night 72 main event.
But it was his unanimous decision win over Anderson Silva as a +160 underdog at UFC Fight Night 84 that earned Bisping the chance to take the place of former champion Chris Weidman, who was forced to withdraw from his scheduled clash with Rockhold at UFC 199.
Pegged at a distant No. 13 on the UFC middleweight rankings, Henderson faces the improbable champion Saturday as a +185 underdog on the UFC betting lines.
The 46-year-old veteran has held multiple Strikeforce and Pride titles but has earned just three wins in his past nine fights, recording knockout victories over Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 38, Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 68 and Hector Lombard at UFC 199. He was pegged as a betting long shot in each bout.
However, Henderson also has suffered three recent first-round knockouts, including a stunning KO loss just 80 seconds into his scrap with Vitor Belfort as a +240 underdog at UFC Fight Night 77.
In other UFC 204 betting action, Belfort looks to bounce back from a first-round TKO loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC 198 when he enters the octagon as a +265 underdog against Gegard Mousasi, who sits as -350 chalk.
Light heavyweight Ovince Saint-Preux returns to action as -220 chalk against Jimi Manuwa, while heavyweight Stefan Struve is perched as -185 chalk in his clash with Daniel Omielanczuk.
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