Dan Henderson Feels Like A Weight Has Been Lifted After Snapping 3-Fight Losing Streak

March 24, 2014
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Dan Henderson UFC 100Most of the time rematches do not live up to the original showdown. The second fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonner didn’t. The rematch between B.J. Penn and Georges St-Pierre didn’t. But on Sunday, Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua showed that sometimes they do.

“After that first fight, I didn’t think we could do it better than that. I don’t think that fight could have been more exciting. But this one was definitely close to that one. Maybe we just bring the best out of each other as far as excitement goes,” Henderson told Fox Sports Live following the event.

They first fought at UFC 139 in November 2011 in a fight that would win Fight of the Year honors. While game plans changed in their second match-up at UFC Fight Night 38, the result was the same. Rua had Henderson hurt and on the brink of defeat in the first and second rounds. Henderson came back in the third frame, landing his patented right hand dubbed the H-bomb to put Rua down.

“It feels great to get that out of the way. I guess I kind of tried to reverse the roles a little bit and let him beat me up the first round, or at least during the second round, and then come back and beat him up,” said Henderson. “I think I just started a little too slow. Finally, I guess he worked me up in that second round, and I got after it in the third. I was pretty happy.”

Heading into the third round, Rua was in complete control. He was landing heavy leg kicks. He had knocked Henderson down twice. He was effectively working his jab. Henderson weathered the early onslaught, but admits he was in trouble.

“I felt like I was aware of what was going on. He definitely rocked me. I just was able to kind of clinch him a little bit, or hold on to him when I got on the ground. He just didn’t connect on the ground and I survived and got back up,” he said.

After landing the right hand that sent Rua crashing to the canvas, Henderson followed him to the ground looking to finish. After a series of hammer fists, he motioned to referee Herb Dean alerting him that Rua may be unconscious.

“I don’t know what I said. I don’t think I said anything. I just kind of motioned. I thought he was out. Maybe I did say something. He was just kind of laying there. I didn’t want to keep beating on him. And Herb wasn’t quite in there. I think I hit him one more time. But, you know, I’m a fan of Shogun too,” said the 43-year-old MMA legend.

Leading up to the fight, Henderson was coming off three consecutive losses. He suffered his first career knockout loss to Vitor Belfort in his last outing. People were starting to bring up the retirement word when talking about the former two-division Pride champion. After the fight, Henderson admitted that the win lifted a lot of weight off his shoulders.

“I do feel like a big weight is off me. I finally kind of got rid of that bad year I had last year and looking forward to this year being a positive one, “ he said. “I don’t think I felt pressure to win because I’ve been losing. I think I always put that pressure on myself. But after every win it feels good to have that pressure released after the fight.”

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  • bajafox

    So he finished a guy that is on the downside of his career? Not that big of a deal. Big fan of Hendo but Im interested to see how a 40+ year old does without TRT

    • Daniel

      Dude stfu these men are athletes why is there always so many haters on here.Great night of fights I cant remember a recent pay per view that was that much action packed

    • Maddawgmar

      You mean like how he just knocked out a guy, w/o TRT? Correct me if I’m wrong but Brazil banned TRT, correct?

      • TheCerealKiller

        He was on TRT. He got the exemption before the ban. He said in an interview last week that he needs to evaluate his training camp without the TRT after this fight.

      • el che

        well, Brasil did ban TRT in competitive combat sports, however, it will only be implemented after this event.

        hence, this was Hendo’s last chance with TRT by his side – and he capitalized, so good for him.

        that stated, was rooting for Shogun – man, it sucks being a Shogun fan this past few years; too many trials of ups and downs, but i don’t care. i’ll stick the ride out through thick and thin.

        • Manuel Lopez

          Shogun has been done for a while now. For someone who is a legend of mixed martial arts, he really isn’t smart enough to avoid getting hurt, knocked down or using a strategy that helps him not getting hurt so much. Think about it. I mean, you hear the term ‘playing it safe’ and Shogun should implement that a little. He has nothing else to prove imo. He’s had his wars.

      • Lucas Freire


    • Manuel Lopez

      You already saw it, he fought a much younger opponent than him in Rashad Evans and he did it without TRT. Not too shabby.

  • Jon Doe

    To be fair, Shogun was handling Hendo with relative ease, Hendo is the master of throwing that power right from odd angles and position, it is completely unexpected and very difficult to train for. Fedor and that from behind reverse uppercut. Shogun spinning and throwing a right hook from clinch. Everybody knows it coming yet he still lands it. Anyway, look at his knee when he was in guard all Shogun had to do was keep distance and keep kicking. Hendo clearly has lost some speed, no lateral movement, no burst in TD, 1 head movement, down and to the right, I dont understand why people just dont high kick him

  • King_DG

    After watching the fight last night, I am so glad TRT is being banned. It has no place in this sport, look what happened to Shogun’s nose, I don’t wanna ever see that. It’s because of TRT that Vitor was able to get those KOs and Henderson was able to get that one last night. When Henderson stopped the TRT, he got destroyed. I guarantee Henderson’s next fight will be a loss by KO because he won’t be able to use TRT anymore.

    • Bucket of Chicken

      Whatever you say, doctor.

    • Baller31

      You’re an idiot.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Both figters are good for the sport, it’s nice to see Dan back in it. Shogun has accopmplished alot for someone with limited athleticism and a pudgy frame

  • gnodeb

    Don’t get me wrong, I like them both. But, for me, this fight was not exiting. Finish was exiting (Hendo has great killer instinct/execution) but fight itself looked odd. Two “old” man were sparing and gas out after 6-7 min.

    They are both legends… but it is a time to move on…