Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Dan Henderson:
I know this is a long-awaited rematch, but to me, it just seems like the first fight can never be topped. With both fighters having gone through so many wars, wear and tear is beginning to take its toll on both legendary fighters. While “Hendo” may still be on TRT for the time being, Rua is still the younger fighter. He also brings the momentum of his thunderous knockout over James Te Huna, while Henderson has lost three straight. At 43 years old, I just don’t think “Hendo” has much left in the tank. I’m going with Rua via technical knockout in the first.
Two fan favorites and legends of MMA will go to war once again at UFC Fight Night 38, as “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson do-over their epic UFC 139 battle. In my eyes, “Shogun” has a clear advantage. The Brazilian is younger and he looked very impressive against James Te Huna last time out. “Hendo,” on the other hand, has been slowing recently and looked abysmal in his knockout defeat against Vitor Belfort. Henderson's famed 'H-Bomb' seems to have lost its boom. Although there may still be fight in the ol' dog, I'm still picking Rua to get the first round TKO.
Henderson vs. Rua one was a heck of a fight. The two slugged it out for five rounds, and when it was over, it was the greatest fight of 2011. Indeed, it was one of the greatest MMA fights of all-time. However, that was three years ago and a great deal has changed. Both fighters are older and neither is quite the force or threat in the light-heavyweight division that they used to be. My guess on this fight is that Rua will be wise enough to circle off and get out of the way of “Hendo’s” come-forward style and powerful right. Minus those tools, Henderson poses little in the way of a threat to Rua. I think Rua avoids Henderson’s power and catches him coming in. As such, and for reasons of age advantage and a greater skillset, I have to go with the Brazilian; winner by TKO in round two, “Shogun” Rua.
Going into Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua's first match in 2011, I was struggling to predict a winner and I find myself in the same position again. "Hendo" got the nod in their first fight, but in reality it could really have gone either way, and in my opinion, was actually a draw. In the first meeting, Henderson managed to draw blood first. But despite giving Rua everything, he was unable to finish the Brazilian, who managed to make a jaw-dropping comeback. I think that's going to give "Shogun" a bit more confidence coming into the rematch, so I'm going with Rua to take a hard fought split-decision.