In one of the most highly anticipated middleweight bouts in the last three years, former PrideFC champion Dan Henderson defeated former UFC 185-pound champion Rich Franklin in an odd split decision victory at UFC 93 on Saturday. Although two of the judges scored the bout in similar fashion, the third seemed to be watching a completely different fight.
There is a saying in MMA that you can never leave a fight in the judges’ hands because you never know what can happen. That statement almost rang true for Henderson.
When the judges handed in their scorecards, two of the officials accurately scored the bout 29-28 for Henderson, however a lone judge curiously scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Franklin.
“Felt like I dominated,” Henderson stated after the fight. “I won the first two rounds, third round he did well, I probably would have gave that one to him, but 30-27 for him was a bit off.”
Fortunately for Henderson, the must-win fight went in his favor. After dropping his first two Octagon bouts, he has rebounded nicely by winning his last two. With Saturday’s win, he has earned himself a spot to coach the U.S. team on next season’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. He will coach opposite Michael Bisping, who will coach the U.K. team.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the U.K. and the U.S. to be pitted against (each other) that way, rather than one or two U.K. guys we get a whole team,” Henderson commented about his next job on the “Ultimate Fighter.” “So I’m looking forward to the experience and I think it’s right up my alley, being a competitor in the Olympics a couple times.”