One of the biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rematches is set to go down later this evening (Sun., March 23, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 38, which will emanate from Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil:
Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua, who will attempt to remake their classic "Fight of the Year" bout from 2011.
With regard to making an early pick for the "Fight of the Night" for this event, it really couldn't be much easier. Their first encounter in the UFC 139 main event will go down as one of the greatest fights in UFC history ... between two legends of the sport no less.
This rematch can't be that much different -- both men still have incredible heart and chins, throing everything they have at their opponents. Those factors are what made their first fight so amazing, with both men giving each other just about as much as they could handle, battling back from the brink of defeat multiple times to somehow make it to the final bell.
Expect more of the same this time around. Henderson's lauded power is complemented by his aggression, while Shogun's footwork and sharp striking make him a lethal moving target. This bout will see both of these men swing leather at each other just as much as the first time they met, simply because their primary response to getting hit hard is to hit back harder.
Whether the fight hits the mat, enters the clinch or stays at range, neither guy will give his opponent a break. We saw how both Henderson and Shogun went for the finish wherever the fight took place in their first fight, and it's safe to assume either will do their best to push for a finish if they smell blood.
Both men are incredible fighters with incredible careers behind them, and this will certainly be another historic fight for the ages. The names Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua are already connected after their first classic, and when they meet this evening, expect that they'll make two classic fights between two gritty veterans.
Indeed, at UFC Fight Night 38, expect nothing less than an absolute war between Henderson and Rua. As far as I'm concerned, this will be rounds six through 10 from their first fight, going after one another with reckless abandon just like they did last time out.