On Jan. 17, we will witness a fight that fans have asked and wanted for years as Dan Henderson takes on former middleweight champion Rich "Ace" Franklin. The co-main event features a rematch two years in the making, as Mark Coleman returns to UFC to take on Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson is an interesting match-up because both fighters are very well rounded. Both are coming off victories at UFC 88, when Ace TKO'ed Matt Hamill with a body kick mid way through round two and Dan Henderson won a hard fought unanimous decision victory over jiu-jitsu practitioner Rousimar Palhares.
Rich Franklin is the more technical striker of the two, but Dan Henderson has that one punch knockout power. Henderson will have the advantage in wrestling as he is an Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling. I don't believe jiu-jitsu will play a part in this fight, however, Franklin would have the advantage on the ground. Prediction - Rich Franklin via unanimous decision.
Two years ago, Shogun and Coleman faced off in the PrideFC ring. The end result was one of disappointment as Coleman took down Shogun, leaving Rua with a broken arm. Now two years later, Rua is looking to settle the score and get back into title contention after a disappointing loss to Forrest Griffin.
Coleman hasn't fought since October of 2006, where he took a beating at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko. Coleman is clearly the better wrestler in this fight and Shogun is the more dangerous striker. If Coleman decides to stand with Shogun it will be a long night for him. Prediction - Mauricio Rua via TKO in round two