Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua engaged in what some are calling Fight of the Year. It was a five-round war that started with both men wearing white shorts and ended with blood-stained trunks for both fighters.
When the dust settled, Dan Henderson scored a unanimous decision with scores of 48-47 across the board. Henderson has won four fights in a row and improves to 29-8 in his legendary MMA career. He is now in line for a fight with the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon "Bones" Jones.
Both fighters did damage in short distance engagements and landed multiple shots on each other. Henderson clearly got the better of these exchanges as he landed mutile uppercuts on Rua. Both men used uppercuts and elbows in the first round, Rua went for takedowns and Henderson did a nice job stuffing the takedowns, however he did eat some punches while defending the takedowns. Rua ended the first round with blood and swelling engulfing his left eye.
After a slow second round from both fighters, the action picked up in the third. Henderson dropped Shogun and immediately went for the finish. Henderson spent around 30 seconds on top of Rua pounding away as the Brazilian hung on. Rua somehow escaped the trouble and grabbed Henderson's leg, looking for a submission. Henderson scrambled. Shogun tries to take Henderson down in the round but catches some shots on the way. The round ended with Rua's left eye almost shut.
Rua showed tremendous heart during the fight as he had his best round in the fourth after nearly being knocked out in the third. Rua landed upper cuts, jabs and right hands during the round and he took Henderson down and dropped bombs on him. Henderson had sea legs at one point in the round and was almost finished.
The two men were completely exhausted when the fifth round began. Round five was mostly fought on the ground as both men were gased. Henderson was in survival move for most of the round and spent it on his back with Shogun constantly landing strikes. The fight ended with Rua on top of Henderson, punishing the former Strikeforce champion. Henderson hung in there, went the distance, and had his hand raised in victory.
The fight was awarded Fight of the Night by UFC President Dana White and White said it was one of the top three MMA fights of all time. Both fighters went to the hospital after the fight. Henderson is now in line for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Could "Hendo" hold the keys to dethroning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones? Regardless of future match-ups, tonight's fight will go down in MMA history.