After a hugely impressive display of power, heart and durability Dan Henderson emerged victorious against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 139 and then briefly spoke about his performance backstage before heading to the hospital for a check-up.
“I tried to finish him a couple of times. I think it tired me out a little bit,” Henderson tells his team while lying flat on his back in the dressing room recovering from the instant classic he had just been a part of.
Though clearly exhausted the good news was that ‘Hendo’ hadn’t lost his sense of humor.
“He tried to Rocky Balbao me early on, wore me out with his head,” he jokes, reflecting on the number of punches he landed cleanly to the Brazilian’s face in the first three rounds.
By the final round Henderson looked to be running on empty and spent the full five minutes under Shogun, but he believed by that stage he had done enough to win.
“When he got the takedown in the fifth round I knew I had the fight won, I just didn’t want to give him a 10-8 round.”
Some fans watching the fight believed that the fifth may indeed have been a 10-8 round, and even UFC president Dana White stated backstage that he had done so, scoring the fight a draw overall.
For his part Henderson was confident he had done enough to win and would have been “very, very surprised” if the judges had saw it differently.
He thought he was close to finishing the fight earlier during the third round though, believing that a couple more punches could have sealed the deal, but the former champion “tucked his head in nice” which saved him.
As for what’s next, Henderson believes this win merits him a shot at the 205lb title.