This weekend a rematch between Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will go down. Henderson won their first match, by unanimous decision, on November 19, 2011. Since his win Henderson has gone 0-3, including losses to Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Vitor Belfort. Rua has gone 2-2 including wins over Brandon Vera and James Te-Huna, while losing to Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson. Both of these men are nearing the end of their illustrious careers. Henderson might be stepping into the Octagon for his final match this weekend. Lately Henderson has seemed sluggish and slow, often running out of gas towards the end of his fights. His wrestling is something he seems to have forgotten because of his trademark "H-bomb", he often tries to keep it standing and land one big punch. This strategy has not worked lately, he has dropped his last three contests. For Rua it seems that he just can't keep up with the higher level competition anymore. The many battles he has gone through seem to have taken a toll on his body. Here is the breakdown:
Dan Henderson- The key for Henderson to win this match will be wrestling. He needs to go back to his roots and stifle Rua's offense with his clinch work and top game.If he stands and trades with Rua it will likely result in another tko loss on his record. Hendo always has a chance to land that vicious right hand, however he has become far too predictable lately. He stalks his opponent and likes to deliver a leg kick before uncorking his right hand. He needs to change up his strategy and rely more heavily on his wrestling.
Shogun Rua- The key for Rua in this fight will be his ability to mix his strikes up and avoid the takedown. Even though Rua has excellent jiu jitsu, it was stifled in losses to Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson. He needs to stay on his feet and use his muay thai against Henderson. There is always the danger of running into Hendo's "H-bomb" but in Hendo's last few contests it has been absent. On the feet is where Rua will have the most success, he does not want to get stuck underneath Hendo or clinched against the fence.
Result- Their first fight was an absolute bloody war. I do not expect this fight to be any different, both of them will have their moments during the fight. I expect Hendo to fade in the later rounds and Rua to still have some gas left in the tank to pour it on.
Rua wins Via 4th round TKO