Dan Henderson Vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua To Headline UFC 139

Dan Henderson UFC 139He’s back! Dan Henderson will finally make his return to the UFC at UFC 139. Henderson returns on a three-fight win streak, as Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, and a win over a guy named Fedor. Unfortunately for Hendo, his first fight back could be the toughest he has had in a long time.

Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson has officially re-signed with the UFC and will make his long awaited return on November 19 at UFC 139. Henderson will headline his first UFC show in over two and a half years as he takes on fellow Pride FC alumni, Mauricio Shogun Rua. They will replace the original main-event, a UFC heavyweight championship fight which was moved to Fox after the UFC and Fox television deal was announced.

Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson replaces the original Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos main-event. It isn’t a heavyweight battle but it promises the same knockout potential as the original headliner. Both fighters have 30 knockout or TKO wins between them and are both coming off very impressive KO wins in recent weeks. If you are looking for fireworks, this has all of the makings of an MMA classic.

Dan Henderson returns to the UFC for the first time in over two years. Henderson’s last UFC fight came at UFC 100 when he knocked out Michael Bisping in a battle of The Ultimate Fighter head coaches. Henderson claims he was promised a rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva after the win. Dana White immediately canceled the rematch after work leaked out that it had been booked. The reversal of decision led to a contentious contract negotiation between Henderson and the UFC which saw Henderson bolt to Strikeforce, which is now owned by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa, LLC.

Henderson returns with a hot three-fight winning streak. During that streak, Henderson won the Strikeforce light heavyweight title and knocked out the legendary Fedor Emelianenko in his last fight. Henderson has certainly been on a roll and his striking is arguably at its best. Henderson’s last four wins have come by either TKO or KO. I don’t expect Henderson’s Strikeforce title to be on the line, although he did say he’d like to defend it in the UFC.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua is looking to bounce back from an embarrassing one-sided destruction at the hands of Jon Jones back at UFC 128. Rua knocked out Forrest Griffin in convincing fashion at UFC 134, his first fight off of his title loss at UFC 128. Rua has only accomplished back to back wins in the UFC once during his tenure, back in 2009. A win over Henderson would likely put him back into the mix for a future UFC light heavyweight title rematch.

I love this fight! You have two of the best strikers in their division going head to head in the top spot. I am going to guess this is a five-round fight as per the UFC’s new rules with its main-events, although I haven’t seen that confirmed anywhere. I would presume that a win over Rua would give Henderson an immediate fight with the UFC light heavyweight champion. This would be Henderson’s third go-around in a champion vs. champion fight. With his high profile win over Fedor, a title fight against Bones Jones would probably go down was one of the biggest fights of 2012 if those worlds should align.

I am going with Henderson in this one. Again, Rua rarely puts together good back to back performances. Henderson is on a streak and his hands have never looked better. Rua has looked more interested in striking in his last few fights than going to the ground, which I think favors Henderson. I don’t see a stand up war going long. I look for Henderson to end this one early with a big right hand for the TKO win and a future shot against the UFC light heavyweight champion, whomever that would be.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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