UFC 139 Results: Grades for Dan Henderson and All the Main Card Fighters
If for some reason you missed UFC 139 Saturday night, you missed out on what was easily the best Ultimate Fighting Championship cards of the year and one of the best in the promotion's history.
Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua put on an epic war that many are already proclaiming as one of the best mixed martial arts fights of all time. For a solid five rounds, these two warriors showed everyone watching what the sport of MMA is all about.
Also on the card, Wanderlei Silva turned back the clock and showed the killer instinct that fans have not seen for years when he was able to TKO hometown-favorite Cung Le in their middleweight showdown.
Urijah Faber made quick work of former WEC champion Brian Bowles and earned another shot at reigning bantamweight champion Dominic Cruz in the process.
In other action, veteran Martin Kampmann edged out a decision against Rick Story, and Stephan Bonnar was able to grind out a decision over Kyle Kingsbury.
Despite whether or not they won or loss, how did each fighter perform?
Read on to find out.
Dan Henderson: A
If you ever had any doubts that Dan Henderson is a legend in the sport of MMA, all those doubts should be removed after witnessing his epic battle against Shogun Rua.
Henderson threw everything but the kitchen sink at Rua's head and ended up doing as much damage as he could without knocking him out.
In the fifth round, it was clear that Henderson was running on empty. However, he was able to somehow gut it out and earn a unanimous decision victory.
With the victory, Henderson will earn a title shot at either light heavyweight or middleweight. UFC president Dana White has yet to determine which title he will fight for.
Brian Bowles: D
To put it kindly, Brian Bowles was never in any way, size, shape or form a threat to Urijah Faber this past Saturday night.
Bowles was outgunned on the feet and had nothing on Faber when the fight hit the mat.
When Faber sunk in the famous Team Alpha Male guillotine choke in the second round, Bowles had no choice but to tap out.
Urijah Faber: A
There is really not much to say when you steamroll your way through someone as quickly as Urijah Faber did Brian Bowles.
Faber seemed to be on a mission to dispatch of his foe as quickly as possible so he could move on to a third match against Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title. He did exactly that, and he will get another shot at the title at an event to be determined.
Martin Kampmann: B+
Even though the scoring was all over the place, it was clear that Martin Kampmann defeated Rick Story after the horn sounded to end the fight.
Over the course of three rounds, Kampmann was able, for the better part, to control the distance and land the harder punches.
This match was a classic matchup between technique vs. aggression. This time around, technique won.
Wanderlei Silva: B+
Wanderlei Silva was able to turn back the clock and give the fans a taste of his striking prowess circa-2006.
Silva took many shots from Cung Le early in the fight that seemed to hurt him, but he fought threw and continued to throw back every time he got tagged.
Midway through the second round, Le seemed dead tired. Silva used this to his advantage and blasted away with knees and punches until the referee stopped the match with less than 20 seconds remaining in the second round
Cung Le: C-
Cung Le was able to use his unorthodox striking early in his match against Wanderlei Silva to hurt him and keep him out of punching range.
However, just like in his loss against Scott Smith, Le's cardio failed him as the fight wore on.
By the second round, Le was visibly tired. His movement became more labored, and his strikes could be seen coming from a mile away. Silva, on the other hand, was able to throw and connect with his loopy punches and knees until the referee had seen enough.
Rick Story: C-
After winning six straight fights, including his career-best performance against Thiago Alves, Rick Story now finds himself with his back against the wall.
For the better part of three rounds, Story got busted up by the much more experienced Martin Kampmann. Story was able to land some good body shots early in the fight, but they were not enough to slow down the welterweight dark horse.
It was not too long ago that many believed that Story was the future of the welterweight division. Now, one must assume that Story will be in a must-win situation in his next bout.
Stephan Bonnar: B
It was not pretty by any means, but Stephan Bonnar was able to walk away from the Octagon Saturday night with a three-round unanimous decision victory over Kyle Kingsbury.
There really was not anything special about Bonnar's performance. He struck with Kingsbury early, then spent the second and third rounds controlling his opponent on the mat.
One has to wonder now if Bonnar will become the gatekeeper of the light heavyweight division.
Kyle Kingsbury: D
In his fight against Stephan Bonnar, Kyle Kingsbury did not put his best foot forward in front of his "fighting out of" crowd.
Kingsbury was able to land a few punches early, but that was about it. The second and third rounds mostly saw Kingsbury on his back, being thoroughly controlled by Bonnar.
Kingsbury is by no means in any risk of losing his job but do not expect to see him on the main card of a pay-per-view anytime soon.
Shogun Rua: A-
Shogun Rua took a beating from Dan Henderson like we have never seen before. Yet, despite seemingly being on the verge of getting knocked out on numerous occasions, Rua was able to gut it out and fight for the full 25 minutes.
In the final round, despite being battered and bloody, Rua had just enough left in him to give Henderson all he could handle. Rua was so dominant in this round that many believe it should have been scored 10-8 in favor of Rua, which would have led to a draw on the scorecards.
After putting on such a display of heart and courage, it goes without saying that we all cannot wait to see Shogun inside the Octagon again.