The first time Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua were matched up against each other, they delivered a five-round, 25-minute classic at UFC 139 that some believe stands as the greatest fight of all time. Tonight (Sun., Mar. 23, 2014) in Natal, Brazil, in the main event of UFC Fight Night 38 on Fox Sports 1, the two were given a chance to recreate that magic.
It was an entirely different kind of magic this time around. Whereas the two went hard for five rounds, gassing out but throwing everything at each other anyway, this one was lopsided in Shogun's favor for the first two rounds until Henderson scored a brutal knockout in the third.
Actually, Rua knocked "Hendo" down no less than two times, once in the first during a big exchange late that very nearly earned a finish before the horn made the save, then again in the second with a hard uppercut. The Brazilian followed that up with meaningless work from on top, and allowed "Dangerous Dan" to recover.
Then, in the third, Henderson launched that "H-Bomb" of his and it found its target. The stoppage was goofy in that referee Herb Dean seemed unsure after the initial blow but it came not long after and Shogun, showing how beat down he was, fell straight back after trying to sit up.
What an amazing comeback.