Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweights Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson went to war in the co-main event of UFC 173 last night (Sat., May 24, 2014) from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
To watch full Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson fight video highlights click here.
A potential title shot was on the line for No. 4-ranked Cormier, who most recently destroyed Patrick Cummins in his 205-pound debut at UFC 170. "DC" had never been in serious trouble inside an MMA cage, but he had to avoid Henderson's vaunted "H-bomb."
No. 6-ranked Henderson came in off of a thunderous come-from-behind victory over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC Fight Night 38, snapping a three-fight skid and instantly catapulting him back into the title mix.
However, a title shot wasn't guaranteed for "Hendo," and he needed to topple one of the toughest challenges of his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career to have any chance at that lofty goal.
The pivotal bout began with Cormier throwing a high kick. Henderson snapped a low kick and missed his overhand right. Cormier slammed Henderson with a beautiful throw and went right into side control, picking him up and slamming him again. "DC" smothered Henderson with ease, landing short punches and elbows. Cormier eventually gained "Hendo's" back and threw some hard shots, continuously dominating Henderson on the ground. The fight stood back up and Cormier stalked Henderson as they closed out the first in the clinch.
In the second round, Henderson landed some decent punches. Cormier took the fight back to the mat and the fans began to boo. Cormier controlled the action for the remainder of the round, scoring points with light shots and maintaining position with virtually no resistance from a tiring Henderson.
The last round began with Cormier scoring a massive body slam, launching Henderson high into the air, and then tripping him to the ground. Cormier further outclassed Henderson on the canvas, landing more punches on a grounded "Hendo." Cormier then locked on a very tight rear naked choke, eventually earning the submission win over an unconscious Henderson.
Cormier should now be headed for a title shot against the winner of the long awaited Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson rematch that has been rumored to take place at UFC 177 in late August. "DC" looked nothing less than dominant, calling out Jones out after his biggest-ever victory.
"Bones" will have to get past "Mauler" first, but there's no doubt that will be a huge match-up if the champion takes care of business.
Henderson confirmed that he wouldn't retire after the bout, apologizing to his fans in an emotional post-fight interview. He's now lost four out of his past five bouts, and despite his name recognition and knockout power, there's simply nothing left for him to accomplish.
After being dominated by a much bigger Cormier, perhaps a move down to middleweight could provide a couple more exciting match-ups for Henderson. He'll go down as a legend for sure, but with losses mounting, it may soon be time to consider hanging up his gloves.
Daniel Cormier continued his rapid rise up the UFC light heavyweight ranks with a grinding win over an overmatched Dan Henderson. After declaring the Octagon his, will ‘Bones' be up next for ‘DC?'