UFC 204: Five things we learned as Michael Bisping beat Dan Henderson to retain title in Manchester

The Englishman won after a five-round thriller 

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The Independent Online

After a night of knockouts, submissions, controversies, dreams made and dreams broken, here were the five things we learned from UFC 204 as Michael Bisping retained his UFC middleweight title against Dan Henderson.

Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson will both forever be immortalized in UFC history after their five-round war

Both Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson were always going to end up in the UFC Hall of Fame, but last evening’s fight will forever be remembered as one of the best UFC middleweight title fights.

The fight had everything a UFC fan could’ve hoped for; a compelling backstory, high drama and a fairytale ending which most around the world agreeing the right man had his hand raised when it was all said and done.

After nine years of bitter rivalry, it was good to see both men show their respect to one another in the post-fight Octagon interviews.

Michael Bisping weighs in ahead of his UFC 204 fight with Dan Henderson (Getty)

Marc Diakiese showed more than he would’ve done with a first-round KO

Many fans and pundits picked debutant Marc Diakiese would make his mark in the UFC with first a round KO, but the reality was he was made to work harder than that.

Diakiese dominated the majority of fight though he was met with strong resistance as his tough Polish opponent, Lukas Sajewski, rallied well and ate several of his power strikes before finally succumbing to an endless flurry of strikes in the second round.

Diakiese and his fans may have been hoping for a quick night of work though the extra time in the Octagon should serve him well down the line.

The late PPV start time worked …kind of  

With a live gate of $1.9m and a crowd in excess of 16,000, it goes to show that the interest in MMA in the UK is strong and still growing at a fast rate.

The success of the pay-per-view will ultimately be determined by the number of US sales, though the fears that the event would have a lackluster atmosphere due to it taking place in the early hours of the British Sunday morning were totally unfound.

The crowd were in their seats from the start and created an incredible atmosphere that peaked during the incredible main event. This type of setup with the card starting at midnight may not work in all markets, but the British crowd proved that they were more than happy to overlook this and enjoy the high drama that unfolded. 

Jimi Manuwa can hang with the best at light heavyweight

Having lost back-to-back fights with Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, Jimi Manuwa was drinking in the last chance saloon last night if he ever wanted to be considered among the light heavyweight elite.

The pressure was on Manuwa to perform and that he did with a highly accomplished demonstration of striking and clinch work against a very dangerous opponent.

The finish was devastating and the Londoner will now be looking for another top 5 opponent to further push him towards the UFC light heavyweight title picture. It was a great return performance.

Michael Bisping defended his UFC middleweight championship against Dan Henderson (Getty)

Not all hometown stories have a fairytale ending

While there were some very notable and brave performances last evening from the British contingent, not all their efforts ended in victory.

Danny Roberts suffered a devastating knockout to Mike Perry, while both British bantamweights Brad Pickett and Davey Grant were on the wrong end of submission defeats.

All three men can hold their head’s high though it just go to show that favorable matchmaking for hometown fighters in the UFC isn’t something that is ever going to happen.