UFC 139 Recap: Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua deliver a Fight for the AgesPosted on November 20, 2011, 01:40 AM by Trent Reinsmith
There are times when MMA fans get caught up in the moment and declare a fight “one of the greatest fights of all-time.” The main event at UFC 139, a battle between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson, two legends of the sport, had many making that declaration. The five round performance that Rua and Henderson may very well be one of those fights that stands the test of time and will go down as one of the greatest in UFC history and if not that, at least one of the most entertaining fights in UFC history.
Within seconds of the opening bell Henderson had hurt and bloodied Mauricio Rua and from there the fight just got better with both fighters having moments where they looked like they were within seconds of finishing the other. Both fighters perceived through some very tough moments. Rua surely got the worst of it, as his bloodied and swollen face showed at the end of the night.
- Was there a loser in this fight? Sure the record of Rua will get a checkmark in the loss column for this fight, but really can you say he was a loser in any other aspect? Not even close, if anyone ever questioned how tough Rua is, well those questions were laid to rest after tonight.
- Was the bar set for five round non-title fights? Anyone fighting in a non-title main event, hell, anyone fighting in any main event will have a lot to live up to after this main event. Rua and Henderson will most likely become a reference point in UFC history, much like Griffin vs. Bonnar.
Notes and more questions following UFC 139:
- Will the “new” Miguel Torres earn a shot at the title? Miguel Torres once fought a reckless style that was popular with the fans. He has turned over a new leaf, fighting with a more controlled style that, while not as exciting it leaves him less damaged at fight’s end. The question is will the safer Torres ever earn a title shot or will that style leave him outside looking in because it lacks the flair that some fans may want to see.
- Should the fighters have to tell the referee that their opponent is unconscious? Chris Weidman choked Tom Lawlor unconscious during their preliminary card bout and it looked as if the referee had to be told that Lawlor was out before he investigated. Yes, Weidman did the right thing, but should he have had to?
- How high is Michael McDonald’s upside? McDonald earned a 56-second KO win and a $70,000 bonus on Saturday night. The win moved his record to 14-1 and please don’t forget that he is still only 20-years old.
- Are you looking forward to Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber III? Many say that Faber is the UFC’s lighter weight golden boy, but it’s hard to deny that he doesn’t deserve the next shot at UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
- Should Wanderlei Silva retire? Odds are that he won’t, but really, after his victory over Cung Le, he could go out on a high note. The “Axe Murderer” has nothing left to prove and going out on a win is something he deserves.
LowKick.com UFC 139 main card awards:
- Fight of the Night: Yes, UFC president Dana White gave two Fight of the Night awards, but the one that he gave to Silva and Le was most likely out of appreciation for the two fighters and not based on it being equal to the main event, because it wasn’t. Hands down, Rua vs. Henderson gets the nod here.
- Performance of the Night: Mauricio Rua. There was more than one time in his fight against Dan Henderson where he looked as if the fight was going to end, but Rua worked through the onslaught to mount a comeback in the later rounds. At the end of the fight, Rua was bloodied and swollen, but a loser, no way.
- Finish of the Night: Wanderlei Silva. After his last few fights there were a lot of doubts about Silva and there still may be some of those doubts, but at UFC 139 it was nice to see Silva end a fight.
Further Reading: Poll: What should be next for Dan Henderson in the UFC?
Photo: Tracy Lee for Cagewriter.com