Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua put on one of the best fights in mixed martial arts (MMA) history at UFC 139 way back in 2011 (see it again here). Three years later, the two legends met once again inside the Octagon, headlining UFC Fight Night 38 in Brazil.
Fans were eager to see if they could replicate what went down in San Jose, Cali., a tough task to say the least. For the first couple of rounds, the two men once again let it be known that the action would be played out on the feet. That said, they were a bit cautious this time around, knowing good and well what each man had to offer given their previous war.
But toward the end of the opening frame, “Hendo” managed to clip Rua with a hard left hand that dropped him. The Brazilian bomber, however, popped right back up to his feet and starting unloading his own bombs, catching Henderson and dropping him with a couple of shots. “Shogun” tried to end the fight with some ground and pound, but Henderson was eventually saved by the bell.
In round two, Rua once again tagged Henderson, this time dropping him with a perfectly-timed uppercut. From there, the rest of the round saw Rua punish Henderson with ground-and-pound. During a scramble in round three, however, Henderson managed to sneak in a bomb of a right hand the dropped Rua, sending him crashing to the canvas in pain. From there, Dan piled on the punishment until Herb Dean stepped in to put an end to the fight.
And it was a great stoppage, as Rua fell back to canvas as he attempted to get up once the fight was over.
Henderson has since retired, but Rua is still going strong, as he is set to make his return in a trilogy fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 250 on May 9 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Assuming the entire world is free from the COVID-19 lockdown by then.