Heading into UFC Fight Night 38, Dan Henderson was dealing with the longest losing streak of his MMA career. Having lost three consecutive bouts, his last in devastating fashion, Henderson needed an impressive performance against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua just to avoid the “retirement” talk from UFC president Dana White.
He didn’t get off to a good start.
Henderson landed the first significant strike of the match, a left hook that wobbled Rua, but Shogun quickly recovered and hurt Dan with a hook of his own. He followed that up with some brutal ground-n-pound.
Referee Herb Dean could have stopped the fight at that point, and many MMA fans would have agreed with the stoppage.
Fortunately, Dean let the fight go on, and Henderson’s heart carried him to the break. Henderson’s problems continued during the second round though, as Rua continued his assault, hurting Hendo with a vicious uppercut that would have knocked out most men on the globe.
Henderson stuck in there, then he changed the complexion of the fight with one of his trademark H-Bombs, bringing an end to Rua’s night.
It’s was a historic night, given the spectacular show these two MMA legends put on, one that will be talked about for quite some time.
With the impressive come-from-behind victory, Henderson’s spot on the UFC’s roster remains secure.
However, as awesome as Henderson’s UFC Fight Night 38 victory was, he’s still a long way from becoming a contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight division. Factor in the fact Henderson will be the last fighter granted a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy in the UFC (and all MMA fights held in Nevada, California, and Brazil), and Hendo’s future in the promotion remains unclear.
Fortunately for the 43 year old, he has the option of cashing out with another bout against Rua, perhaps on pay-per-view, since his performance against Rua at UFC Fight Night 38 pretty much guarantees MMA fans will be willing to watch these two legends go at it -- at least -- one more time.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
More from David King: