Vitor Belfort (24-10) seems to be getting better with time. On Saturday night, the 36-year-old made history, becoming the first man to stop Dan Henderson (29-11) in the cage. "The Phenom" accomplished the feat with a well-placed head kick as Henderson was trying to recover from a short left uppercut.
Referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to call an end to the fight as "Hendo" crumpled to the mat.
While the uppercut dropped the granite-chinned Henderson, the kick is what gave Belfort the victory. It was the third-straight fight Belfort has ended with a head kick.
Bleacher Report's official MMA Twitter feed chimed in on The Phenom's win:
Vitor Belfort becomes the first to EVER finish Dan Henderson. That has got to count for something, no?— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) November 10, 2013
Some may think the stoppage was premature, especially considering Henderson's reputation for coming back from heavy punishment. That said, it was clear that Henderson was out once the kick connected; Miragliotta was right to halt the fight when he did.
Should Dan Henderson retire?
Belfort, the UFC light heavyweight champion way back in 2004, is in the middle of a remarkable career resurgence that has him headed for another title shot. He got a crack at the 205 pound strap in Sept. 2012 against champion Jon "Bones" Jones, but came up short in a fourth-round defeat.
Belfort nearly submitted Jones, but the young champion persevered and ended the bout with a keylock submission. Since that fight, Belfort has stopped Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold (both bouts were at middleweight) and now Henderson in impressive fashion.
The Phenom will be getting another title shot shortly, per Dana White.
Dana says that barring injury or something crazy, Vitor will next fight the winner of Weidman/Silva 2.— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 10, 2013
Things aren't looking as good for Henderson.
For all intent and purpose, this loss should spell the end of the line for him. He's 43 years old and he's lost three fights in a row. He can't compete with the best fighters in the world anymore. He's a future Hall of Famer, but it is time to walk away.
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