Talk about a close call.
Dan Henderson didn't look like he was going to win his main event rematch against Mauricio Rua last night (Sun., March 23, 2014) in Natal, Rio do Grande Norte, Brazil.
In one of the most memorable comebacks in recent history, "Hendo" overcame two knockdowns early in the fight to put the Brazilian on queer street after landing the right hand that has knocked out so many opponents in the past.
Watch the highlights here.
Even Henderson's body language immediately after the fight suggested he had taken too much of a beating, upset with himself after taking so many possible fight-ending shots from "Shogun."
Regardless of what could have been for Rua, factored in with the Team Quest legend's inability to get it going in the first two rounds, "Hendo" emerged victorious in violent fashion and the 43-year-old isn't calling it quits just yet.
Even though it wouldn't be the worst of ideas.
That being said, he didn't emerge as a title contender last night whatsoever. The rematch between Henderson and Rua was inexplicably put together when both adversaries weren't exactly on a clear path to meet one another.
But, what's done is done and now we need to assess the former PRIDE FC middleweight and welterweight champion's next move.
The light heavyweight division doesn't have too many options on the menu right now. Plus, all the good stuff is taken.
"Hollywood" could anticipate a few scenarios, including the loser of UFC 172's light heavyweight clash pitting Jon Jones against Glover Teixeira for the light heavyweight championship.
In other words, if Teixeira loses the bout, he should duke it out against Henderson. It would be a contest matching two sluggers together who could wow the crowd, even though someone is destined for the hospital.
He doesn't deserve to face someone like Daniel Cormier, because "D.C." is all but confirmed to wait on the sidelines and see how the whole "Jones vs. Gustafsson" situation pans out. Plus, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout is also watching UFC 172's co-main event closely, as well.
The winner of Phil Davis against Anthony Johnson at UFC 172 could be on his way to grander plans, too, so that option doesn't make the most sense either.
Realistically, Cormier could meet the winner of that scrap.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would be an excellent fight for Henderson, since "Little Nog" is currently on a two-fight winning streak, with no opponent on the horizon.
It would be the third consecutive rematch for the legend, since the two originally met at PRIDE FC: "Total Elimination" in 2005 -- where "Minotouro" won by first-round armbar.
On the flip side, Nogueira has pulled out of a lot of fights, inactive since February 2013. Would the fight even materialize?
Another rematch to consider is if Wanderlei Silva lost to Chael Sonnen on May 31st in Brazil. But, considering how their first fight went at PRIDE FC 33 (history made right here), this rematch has brain damage written all over it.
Also, why not someone like Ryan Bader?
"Darth" is 2-2 at the moment, anticipating his next challenger after his hand heals up. Though on second thought, is retirement an option, too? Not many pundits would be screaming for a refund if the aging Olympian decided to call it a career.
He did sign a new contract at the beginning of the year, but on the other side of the coin, he's one fight away from being brutally knocked out -- with the possibility of suffering long-term damage at his age.
Henderson is not only well into his forties, but he's also had a number of grueling fights over the course of 17 years, competing for every promotion there is worth talking about.
He was on the verge of being out cold at the end of the first round, and in all honesty, Herb Dean gave him a break.
"Hendo" is too stubborn to retire himself, so he's either going to go out on his shield, when his body can't take it anymore, or when he suffers a horrendous defeat in which his bosses decide to call it a day for him.
Let's hope for his sake he comes out of his next few fights still in one piece, because he's one punch away from it being all over.
For full UFC Fight Night 38: "Shogun vs. Henderson 2" coverage, including video highlights, in-depth results and recaps, click here.