Both Dan Henderson and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua gave the Brazilian fans at UFC Fight Night 38 this evening ample opportunity to witness their legendary punching power, but in the end it was ‘Hendo’ who delivered the biggest blow of them all to earn a TKO victory.
We’re underway in the main event. Cautious stuff as they start out at range, then Henderson unleashes and Shogun has to back away out of danger.
Feeling out process a minute in. Shogun throws a punch and Henderson fires off a more powerful one in return.
Shogun looking for leg kicks. Henderson charges forward with a couple of punches but is a little off-balance and misses.
Henderson lands a leg kick of his own. There’s a little clinch and Hendo uncorks a big punch.
Hendo steps in again and bundles Shogun to the ground, but only for the blink of an eye, then they are back up again.
Shogun continuing to look for leg kicks and feeding Henderson the jab, though somewhat tentatively then getting back out of range.
Henderson tries to charge forward and Shogun meets him with a body kick. Henderson looks for the clinch, but Shogun swivels him round and presses him up against the cage.
They disengage and Shogun lands a kick. Suddenly Henderson lands a big blow and seems to have Shogun in trouble. He wades forward with a barrage of blows and Shogun looks in danger of being stopped.
However, suddenly a right and a left from Shogun drops Henderson! Shogun is on him on the mat trying to finish this fight, but Hendo is saved by the bell.
Shogun wings a punch that just sizzles past Henderson’s head. Big leg kick lands for Shogun. Shogun with a big punch, but Henderson eats it and returns fire.
Shogun clinching against the cage now. Henderson lands a knee to the body then manages to push his opponent off and they reset.
Shogun taking the center of the cage again and they trade blows. Hendo looks for a takedown, but it’s very sloppy and he staggers off-balance across the cage.
Back to the striking they go and Shogun lands a huge uppercut that sends Hendo to the mat. Shogun goes down into his guard, but is pacing himself here rather than going all out for the finish.
Hendo seems to be ok, but is just looking to tie up here and hope for the stand-up. He’s successful in that regard and they are back up with 30 seconds of the round left. They don’t go all out now that they are back on the feet either, perhaps mindful that this could go the full five rounds like their last encounter.
Leg kick from Shogun to start the round as he takes the center of the Octagon again. Hendo looks for the big home-run hit, but Shogun’s done a good job of getting out of the way of it at times tonight.
Henderson presses forward aggressively, but Shogun emerges unscathed.
Out of nowhere a huge right hook from Henderson lands flush to the nose and almost takes Shogun off his feet as he topples like a tree to the canvas.
Shogun rolls backwards onto his knees, but Henderson is right on him and hammering down blows to his head.
And that’s it, the referee’s called an end to the fight! For a moment it seems like it might be premature, but then Shogun tries to stand and immediately flops back down unsteadily to the mat, clearly still rocked.
On closer inspection it also becomes clear that the hook completely mangled Shogun’s nose.
Shogun had looked to be getting the better of this fight, but you can never count out Henderson with his remarkable punching power, and that earns him his second victory against the Brazilian.