Warning: Image of a graphic injury below
“Does it look broken?”
After two strong rounds, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua walked away from UFC Fight Night 39 with a crooked nose and a ninth loss under his belt.
Dan Henderson caught the Brazilian light heavyweight with a devastating series of punches in the third round, two of which appeared to turn Rua’s nose sideways.
That brand of ugly might have to be handled by a specialist. You can’t always Steve Nash your nasal septum back into place.
The injury comes as no surprise, considering the three flavors of hell Henderson unleashed on the Brazilian’s sinuses before referee Herb Dean called the match. Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com crafted a GIF of Henderson’s face-mashing flurry:
Fox analyst Brian Stann foreshadowed the match-ending punches, according to Mike Chiappetta of Fox Sports: "Henderson appeared to be living a nightmare against Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua when UFC on FOX analyst Brian Stann presciently noted that all was not lost for the 43-year-old. 'As we all know, Henderson holds a big stick of dynamite in that right hand.' Ten seconds later, the...main event was all over."
Indeed, Henderson throws bricks with his right, and they’ll break a few windows if they land true.
As someone who has had his nose broken (headbutt, don’t ask), I harbor a deep and abiding respect for fighters like Rua who stand in the ring post-fight like their nose wasn’t just forcibly turned into lasagna. He grimaced through the end-of-match formalities, looking grim but undaunted.
He wasn't alone in his pain. Henderson claimed Rua hurt him early in the going, per Chiappetta.
"He definitely dung me, he rang my bell a tad in the first round and then the second, too," Henderson said. "I decided to be patient, too patient. I wasn't very offensive. In the third round we decided to get after it and pick it up where we left off the last fight."
Noses break, but we must not break with them. As for Rua, he'll be icing that nose for a while.
Surgery is generally the only fix for a break this bad, but it's nothing he can't handle. He'll go through the motions, ice the swelling and live to fight another day. Rua is 32, and judging by Henderson's performance, he could be breaking young bucks' noses more than a decade from now.
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