21 of the biggest rivalries in MMA history [UPDATED]

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
8 of 22

Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping

The UFC has a way of making fighters become rivals, one good way to do this is to pit them against each other on The Ultimate Fighter show. Many times fighters will already have a backstory between them when they face each other but sometimes the fight itself makes them rivals. That is the case with Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping.

Henderson was chosen to coach Team U.S for season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, Bisping was to coach Team UK. The feud began in the house and in the gym of TUF. The score between them was to be settled at UFC 100 when these two men would fight for a middleweight title contender spot. The fight has gone down in history as one of the best knockouts ever. Henderson knocked Bisping out in the second, but it was his follow up shot that is now famous. Henderson threw his patented “H-Bomb” after Bisping was noticeably unconscious. This shot just fueled the fire between them.

In the press conference after the fight, Henderson said: “I hit him hard, but I got that last blow in just to shut him up a little bit.” This statement didn’t sit well with Bisping who now has a permanent injury to his eye from the fight.

Fast forward seven years later and Bisping was sitting atop the division. After knocking out Luke Rockhold Bisping was the champion and in a position to ask for the rematch he has always wanted, revenge against Dan Henderson. Although the fight was odd at the time since Henderson was ranked number eight in the division, the history got fans on board for the rematch.

This time it was Bisping who was victorious, he defeated Henderson by unanimous decision at UFC 204. After the fight, Henderson retired from MMA, and Bisping retired shortly after losing his title. In the end, both men won a fight but the effects of the rivalry will continue.