It was a memorable night in Brazil this past weekend, but maybe for all the wrong reasons.
UFC Fight Night 38: "Shogun vs. Henderson 2" took place last night (Sun., March 23, 2014) in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and fans were treated to a comeback for the ages, overshadowed by that same legend who doesn't need to fight anymore.
43-year old mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Dan Henderson overcame Mauricio Rua's powerful shots in the first two rounds, knocking out the Brazilian in the third frame -- courtesy of his infamous right hand (watch the highlights here).
"Hendo" against "Shogun" didn't even need to happen the second time around, and after witnessing the Olympian struggle to make the fight competitive in the first and second stanzas, it may be best to take a step back and re-evaluate his position in the sport.
In the co-main event, C.B. Dollaway shut the haters up by knocking out Cezar Ferreira in 39 seconds. The significant underdog caught The Ultimate Fighter: "Brazil" season 1 winner, and made sure the fight would be over in a timely fashion.
Main card winners also include Fabio Maldonado, Michel Prazeres, and Rony Jason. One fight on the main card went to a majority draw, as Norman Parke was docked a point for grabbing Leonardo Santos' shorts, so we won't cover that fight down below.
It's time to match them up, and without further ado, here we go:
Winner: Rony Jason
Who He Should Fight Next: Dennis Bermudez
Why They Should Fight: For starters, they both have wins against Steven Siler.
After what could have been a quick stoppage to award Rony Jason the victory against Steven Siler, the featherweight serial killer could anticipate squaring off against Dennis Bermudez, who just knocked out Jim Hettes last week at UFC 171.
"The Menace" is going about his business quietly on the "Prelims," racking up six-straight victories. A fight against Jason could be promoted to a main card somewhere down the line, with all fingers pointing to UFC's return to Sao Paulo in May.
You could make the case that Bermudez deserves someone with a bigger name (like Ricardo Lamas), but we're in the business of matching competitors up with wins.
So, why not?
Winner: Michel Prazeres
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Katsunori Kikuno vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 173
Why They Should Fight: Michel Prazeres looked decent against Mairbek Taisumov, but he was awarded such a lopsided unanimous decision win because the Russian still needs to read the UFC rulebook.
Katsunori Kikuno squares off against Tony Ferguson at UFC 173, and we could learn more about Prazeres if he fights the winner of the proposed bout above.
Either competitor is a tough fight for him, but "Trator" does have the power to make things difficult for both guys in the grappling exchanges, and he's only lost once in 19 fights.
Winner: Fabio Maldonado
Who He Should Fight Next: Ilir Latifi
Why They Should Fight: Fabio Maldonado absorbs too many power shots to the dome. It's actually an odd feeling to watch him fight, because he really takes severe punishment.
Still, he comes out on top and lookie here ... he's on a three-fight winning streak!
Matching him up against Ilir Latifi isn't going to do him any favors if the fight goes to the ground, but it would be a nice change of pace for the Brazilian.
The Swede was victorious at UFC Fight Night 37, dismantling Cyrille Diabate in his last fight, so it would be perfect timing to get the ball rolling on materializing this match up.
If the Sao Paulo resident can overcome "The Sledgehammer," then you can match him up against somewhat of a "ranked" opponent.
Winner: C.B. Dollaway
Who He Should Fight Next: Luke Barnatt
Why They Should Fight: Technically, C.B. Dollaway defeated both The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" season 1 finalists (remember Daniel Sarafian had to pull out of the final due to injury).
"The Doberman" took care of business in no time this past weekend, proving Cezar Ferreira isn't the hot prospect we thought he was.
Luke Barnatt continued his undefeated streak a few weeks ago at UFC Fight Night 37 in London, England, beating up Mats Nilsson in the first round via head kick followed by punches.
"Bigslow" needs a little bit of step up in competition after finishing two out of his past three UFC fights, and TUF 7's middleweight finalist could be the perfect answer.
Both of these dudes hit hard, possessing capabilities of making this a grueling and compelling fight.
Winner: Dan Henderson
Who He Should Fight Next: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Why They Should Fight: I'm reluctantly putting Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's name here, because in all honesty, Henderson shouldn't fight anymore.
But, since another fight is destined to happen (he's got five left on his contract), a bout against "Little Nog" makes the most sense.
They're both coming off wins (Nogueira's on a two-fight winning streak), and a rematch of their PRIDE FC: "Total Elimination 2005" fight, where "Minotouro" notched a first-round victory via armbar, would be nice to watch again.
It would be Henderson's third consecutive rematch against an opponent he's already faced, yet there aren't too many choices to anticipate if he wants to keep gunning for a title that realistically seems so far away.
But, would the leaner Nogueira brother even show up when the time comes?
We shall see.
For full UFC Fight Night 38: "Shogun vs. Henderson 2" coverage, including video highlights, in-depth results and recaps, click here.