November 20, 2011 by staff
Shogun Rua, Round 1, This marks the second five-round non-title main event for UFC and it should be awesome. Big leg kick from Rua to start. Hendo lands a big right that staggers Rua. Rua goes to both knees and Hendo goes for a guillotine as Rua tries for a takedown. Rua gets back to his feet and eats hooks to the arms. Rua charges across the ring and eats another big shot and Henderson throws Rua from the cage. Knee to the body of Henderson.
Leg kick from Shogun gets Henderson moving back. Rua shoots for a takedown but it’s sprawled by Hendo. What I have failed to mention is that Rua has been bleeding like a stuck pig since that first big exchange. Rua lands a big punch and staggers Henderson. Hendo goes down, but holds the single leg until he can get through the worst of it. Shogun holds Hendo against the fence as the round comes to a close.
Jabs from Rua establish the range for the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Henderson goes for a takedown, but Rua reverses and gets him against the fence. Both men separate and Henderson gets Rua against the fence. Big uppercut from Henderson. Measured blows to the head and body from Henderson who looks as if he continues to time his shots. Both men throw big rights at the same time and miss. It looked like a moment out of “Rocky,” so I brought it up. Rua plows forward with a combination for straights and hooks, pressing Hendo until Henderson reverses and begins leveling blows to the head and midsection of Rua. Henderson controls Shogun on the cage and Shogun looks as if he has already gone through a five-round fight with all the blood he’s losing. The referee steps in to restart in the center of the cage as neither fighter progressed. Both fighters swing and counter as neither wants to concede the round. With 10 seconds to go, Rua begins to circle away from Hendo before time expires.
Referee Josh Rosenthal screams “last round” before the start of Round 3. He laughs when Henderson reminds him that he’s wrong. Henderson presses Rua against the fence, looking to connect with his big right uppercut. Henderson gets a single leg, but Shogun squirms away and is back on his feet. Jab to the body by Rua. Rua is the more technical of the two fighters, but there is no question that Henderson is really taking it to Rua. Big right from Hendo puts Rua on the mat. Rua eats several HUGE shots on the bottom and Rosenthal looks like he’s going to stop the bout. Shogun is a warrior and hangs on for dear life while being hammered on the mat. Rua reaches for a heel hook and Hendo escapes. Rua pops up and gets Henderson against the fence. Shogun is bleeding like a faucet. Elbows to the side of the head from Henderson, but Shogun drags Henderson to the mat. Rua lands several short blows to Henderson’s face, but he’s back to his feet albeit on the cage again. Shogun separates and lands a good right on Dan. Both fighters remain away to end the round. Henderson shakes out his right hand to end the round.
Both fighters are now wearing pink shorts from all of the blood. Shogun shoots for a single leg takedown to start the round. He gets it but Hendo is able to get free. Hendo tries to take Shogun’s back, but Hendo gets free. Both fighters miss blows and Henderson gets a big takedown on Shogun. Hendo works for a one-arm guillotine in guard. Rua regains his full guard. Posturing up, Henderson lands two big punches. Rua and Hendo are exchanging on their feet. Big uppercut from Rua staggers Henderson. Big right from Henderson. Henderson is still rocked and he shoots for a takedown. Rua works free and ends up taking Henderson down to the mat. Henderson gives up his back back escapes and ends up in full guard as the round ends.
Henderson engages early, but Shogun ends up on top. With his feet on the cage, Rua lands a big knee to the body of Henderson. Shogun gets full mount again and is working to reverse the position again. Long punches land from Shogun, but they do little damage. Henderson gets back to half guard and is able to hold on. Rua tries to take Henderson’s back when the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ rolls through, but he ends up back into mount. Rua lands punches and hammerfists in side control. Elbows from the full mount on Henderson. Both fighters have been spent since the third and they are just tearing into each other. Hendo gets Rua back into half guard as Rua starts for full mount again. Shogun is leveling short punches with 15 seconds to go. Henderson just won’t quit. Great fight.
10-8 Rua. Henderson and Rua draw 47-47 on our card.
Dan Henderson defeats Maurico “Shogun” Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
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