UFC on Fox 4: 3 Reasons Shogun Rua vs. Henderson 2 Is the Best Possible Outcome
Henderson vs. Rua I (courtesy of Zuffa Inc.)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua could land a fight with the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson if he performs well on Saturday against Brandon Vera.
This undoubtedly has produced a collective groan by the UFC community of fans who want compelling matchups.
But these groans come with the assumption that Jones will get past Henderson. Yes, light heavyweight champ Jones has dismembered Vera and Shogun, among others.
Does that mean that Jones won't get caught by the legendary chin-bulldozer that is Henderson's fist? Absolutely not.
Rashad Evans, though faster than Henderson, has shown that Jones can get caught. Lyoto Machida also has shown that Jones can get caught, and all it takes is one punch from Henderson.
With all that said, the best possible match that can come out of this arms race for the next light heavyweight championship showdown is a rematch between Shogun Rua and Henderson.
3. A Hendo KO Loss Could Save Jones' Life, a Rua Beatdown Could Inspire Vera
Jones' crashed Bentley
Jones was the undisputed Fighter of the Year in 2011.
But with youth and sudden success come dumb decisions. One of Jones' dumbest decisions was to drive drunk and crash into a utility pole this past May.
He's lost his license for six months and said his obligatory apologies, but has he learned his lesson? Does he realize his youth and success does not make him invincible?
Maybe he does. If he doesn't, Henderson's fist sure could help him.
Vera used to be a fighter with a lot of potential and acclaim until he fell and continued to fall after every single attempt at redemption. His latest comeback claims ring hollow ahead of his Rua fight.
Sure, he could choke Rua out or land a perfectly timed kick to the head, but he's more than likely just going to suffer his third loss in five fights.
Sometimes it takes rock bottom to bring a fighter to his senses about doing whatever needs to be done to activate their fullest potential.
At the age of 34, suffering a loss to Rua in what was essentially his chance to become the No. 1 contender for the UFC title will hopefully be the spark that ignites the very best Vera he could be.
2. A Henderson Victory over Jones Brings Back the Uncertainty of MMA Favorites
Dan Henderson during his knockout-of-the-year performance against Mike Bisping in 2009.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
If Henderson beats Jones, fans will not be complacent in their predictions as to who will win fights. The media won't look so far ahead into a fighter's future just because he's on a nice winning streak.
It seems many divisions have one fighter who steps into the Octagon and the result's conclusion has already been made up in the minds of the people.
Anderson Silva is that fighter in the middleweight division. Junior Dos Santos is becoming that guy in the heavyweight division. And Jon Jones is most certainly that guy for the light heavyweights.
If Henderson's punch can flatten Jones, everything changes...for the better.
1. Henderson vs. Rua II Will Be Just as Epic as the First Fight
Hendo vs. Rua I
Rua vs. Henderson was not only the fight of the year in 2011, but possibly the greatest fight in UFC history. Can lightning strike twice? It'd be wonderful to find out.
If Rua wins in impressive fashion and Hendo does what appears to be the impossible against Jones, one of the most interesting rematches ever could occur for the light heavyweight title.
Rua could've gotten the nod in such a close fight, but it went to Hendo for building an early lead. Chances are, the results could go either way in a rematch.
These two were made for each other. Their chemistry in the ring almost insures another bloody battle of balls and brawn.
When the dust is settled and the UFC on Fox 4 and UFC 151 have come to a close, let's hope Hendo and Rua are the only men left standing.
For more news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @justindavidtate.