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15th Aug 2016

UFC confirms Michael Bisping’s first title defence will be in Manchester

He's got the Manchester bout he wanted

Tom Victor

Michael Bisping’s UFC homecoming is now official, with the promotion announcing its first Manchester event since 2013.

The middleweight champion’s first title defence will come on home soil against Dan Henderson on October 8, with the UFC 204 card starting to properly take shape.

Another intriguing middleweight bout takes second billing of the six fights announced at the time of writing, with #5-ranked Brazilian Vitor Belfort up against France’s Gegard Mousasi, while British bantamweight Brad Pickett is lower down the bill after earning a split decision victory at UFC London back in February.

Cyprus-born and Lancashire-raised Bisping took the middleweight title back in June with a surprise KO of Luke Rockhold, and UFC 204 will be his third outing of 2016.

INGLEWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Michael Bisping (blue gloves) and Luke Rockhold (red gloves) during their middleweight championship bout at UFC 199 at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Bisping, who turned 37 the day after his UFC London victory over Anderson Silva paved the way for a title shot, takes a 29-7 career MMA record into his meeting with 45-year-old Henderson (32-14).

He has gone four for four since losing to Rockhold in Sydney in 2014, and now has a chance to avenge his UFC 100 defeat against ‘Hendo’.

The current card is as follows, though one would expect it to be added to as we get closer to October 8.

Michael Bisping v Dan Henderson (for UFC middleweight title)

Gegard Mousasi v Vitor Belfort (middleweight)

Stefan Struve v Ruslan Magomedov (heavyweight)

Leonardo Santos vs. Adriano Martins (lightweight)

Jimi Manuwa vs. Ovince Saint Preux (light heavyweight)

Brad Pickett vs. Iuri Alcântara (bantamweight)

Davey Grant vs. Damian Stasiak (bantamweight)

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