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Dan Henderson back in the UFC, faces “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139

The top MMA organization in the world continues to pluck Strikeforce champions like they’re feathers from a bird. First it was Nick Diaz, then two weeks ago it was Alistair Overeem, and today it’s Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. Ready to welcome him back to the octagon is one of the most exciting light heavyweights in the world, former UFC 205 lb champion Mauricio Rua. The two light heavyweights have agreed to do battle at UFC 139 in San Jose.

News of the bout was first reported by MMAWeekly.com and has since been confirmed by the UFC.

“Hendo” is no stranger to the octagon, having two prior runs under his belt. He first competed at UFC 17 back in 1998, winning the one night middleweight tournament before heading off to Japan, where he made a name for himself in PRIDE with victories over the likes Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. He returned to the UFC at UFC 75, taking on Quinton Jackson in a UFC light heavyweight title vs. PRIDE light heavyweight title fight and followed that up with a bout against Anderson Silva in a fight that merged the UFC and PRIDE middleweight titles. Despite losing both bouts, Henderson rebounded and won three straight in the UFC, defeating Rousimar Palhares, Rich Franklin, and Michael Bisping.

Failing to reach a new contract with the UFC, Henderson headed to Strikeforce, where he immediately challenged Jake Shields for the middleweight strap. Not having the conditioning at 185 to defeat Shields, Henderson moved up to 205 where he knocked out Renato Sobral and Rafael Cavalcante to capture to the light heavyweight belt. In his most recent fight, Henderson stopped Fedor Emelianenko in the first round, pounding him out with his famous right hand, dubbed by some as the “H Bomb.”

Now the Team Quest pioneer will get another crack at a former PRIDE superstar when he takes on “Shogun” Rua, fresh off his victory over Forrest Griffin. In that bout, Rua received a hero’s welcome at UFC 134 in Brazil and avenged his first UFC loss against Griffin. The former UFC champ has had a storied MMA career that includes winning the PRIDE light heavyweight grand prix in 2005 and becoming the first man to beat Lyoto Machida to win in the UFC belt in 2010. Rua holds wins against some of the best fighters in the sports history, including Ricardo Arona, Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Alistair Overeem.

The bout will headline UFC 139 and will have major title implications. Also on the card, which takes place on November 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California is a middleweight bout between Vitor Belfort and Cung Le.

*PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE*

19 COMMENTS
  • Creature says:

    Wow what a great fight.. this is going to be a WAR! Shogun better hope he comes in at the best shape of his life or its going to be a long night for him.. I think if Hendo doesnt put him away with his vicious right hand, he will still take a closer UD with his superior wrestling and overall aggression

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • HevyHitters says:

    Originally I would take shogun in this fight..but after the last 2 fights he had and didn’t throw one leg kick, I’m kinda nervous…this is coming from a rua fan…I think hendo takes it by decesion..if shogun can open those leg kicks like he did against machida it might be a different story…but I think ruas legs are shot from all the surgerys….hate to say it cuz I love shogun but hendos got this one

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • I would’ve rather seen Dan take on Machida, but i can live with this. I wont make a prediction just yet…except that I’ll be watchin this one closely!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Angry Mike says:

    A healthy Rua would make for an epic fight between two legends. But I doubt we’ll ever see a healthy Rua again. He has the will but not the knees.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  • THEGUNNER says:

    If ruas knees are shot were gonna see a slugfest.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Creature says:

    I honestly think Shogun not throwing leg kicks would give him a better chance.. The more kicks he throws, the more chances he gives Hendo to counter with that nasty right hand or shoot right in for a TD

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Batman says:

    Dana’s attempt to justify a Strikeforce champ vs UFC champ fight, I like it. I hope they will unify the UFC and Strikeforce belt and finally get rid of strikefarce. Lets go Henderson knock Shogun out.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • elkymbo says:

    Na na na na na na na na Batmaaaaaan!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    awesome

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • MickeyC says:

    I think anyone still wondering, about the future of SF now knows the end is near. Melendez is the only champ that has not defected and he is begging to. And if 155 was not SO deep in the UFC they would have moved him by now. Thety are just keeping him on deck till 155 needs a kick.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • stone says:

    If Hendo beats Rua’s ass with a finish, does he fight for the belt next?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Hendo!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • JBAR says:

    I would still like to see Hendo get one more crack at A. Silva.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Winner vs a. Silva. Lets see a real compitition unlike cote, griffen, okami, irvin.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • JBAR says:

    I would also hope the fight would be at 205, I don’t really care about Silva’s title I just want to see him in a good fight and I think at 205 Hendo will be a tougher opponent.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    Anyone against Dan at 205 is going to have a tough fight.. yes even Jon Jones

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • I have no desire to see A Silva vs. Hendo again….Hendo was the first and for awhile only man to take a round from Silva…but he got wrecked on the feet and ultimately choked out…I dont think he’d do any better again. That being said Shogun vs. Silva could be epic.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Niv says:

    Well Shogun took no damage last fight and by all indications is healthy. If that’s the case I give this to Shogun, I love Hendo but he doesn’t beat a healthy Shogun in my opinion.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • edub says:

    Shogun takes this healthy or not. People are giving way too much credit to Henderson for overrated wins.

    I wonder if Ferttita will keep the same stance on TRT when he’s brining back the poster child for it in Hendo.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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