Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson make magic inside the Octagon, a point showcased previously at UFC 139 and again Sunday evening at UFC Fight Night 38 in Brazil.
These two hard-hitting veterans match up perfectly, and both of their bouts were sensational displays of the heart, power, grit and determination seen in the sport of MMA.
Henderson earned a unanimous decision victory over Rua in November 2011 at UFC 139, but the fight was ultra competitive, and each man came close to ending the fight on numerous occasions.
The two fighters turned back the clocks in an attempt to recreate the drama of this first encounter, and the results were equally fantastic.
While Henderson enjoy a dominant start at UFC 139, Rua roared out of the gates in the rematch, clipping Henderson with a ferocious combo at the end of Round 1 and sending him tumbling to the canvas.
Rua followed up with some powerful ground-and-pound, but the Brazilian ran out of time, and "Hendo" brushed himself off for Round 2.
Wow!!! Henderson just went out like three times!! And was that the round??? No way he stopped that!— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) March 24, 2014
Again, Rua looked to be in total control in the second frame.
He caught Hendo again—this time with a clean uppercut—and the Californian dropped to his knees a second time. Shogun had difficulty sealing the deal, though, and Henderson survived once more.
In Round 3, it became Henderson's time to dish out some punishment.
As the two broke from a clinch near the center of the Octagon, Hendo smashed Rua with a massive right hand, and Shogun went somersaulting backward across the cage floor.
Hendo followed this attack with some hammerfists from top position, and referee Herb Dean had no choice but to stop the contest. Shogun was turtled and doing nothing to improve his position, and Henderson again walked away the victor.
DAN HENDERSON WILL WRECK YOUR FACE. Monster KO. Right hook. Rua was hurt really bad. Hendo's all time top 5 to me. Rushmore territory.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) March 24, 2014
With such lofty expectations to live up to, Henderson and Shogun delivered everything fans could have wanted and more. The fact that we got one back-and-forth, rock-em', sock-em' fight from these two legends is amazing; the fact that we got two is utter perfection.
Check out the highlights of this epic clash above.