by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Dan Henderson snapped a two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision victory over Rousimar “Touquinho” Palhares at UFC 88 in Atlanta. The former Pride champion utilized a sprawl-n-brawl strategy to frustrate his Brazilian counterpart.
Palhares struggled to take Henderson down early as the Team Quest fighter would sprawl and counter after each failed attempt. As the round progressed, Palhares began to throw his kicks with more versatility. Touquinho finally secured a takedown near the end of the opening round, but ran out of time before he could take advantage of his positioning.
Despite a losing effort, Palhares earned the highlight of the fight in the second round when he secured a double leg and slammed the former champion to his back. Rousimar was unsuccessful with his subsequent submission attempt.
Throughout the match, Henderson landed hard right hands to the head of his opponent. Henderson playfully grabbed Palhares’ chin after the fight, acknowledging the Brazilian Top Team fighter’s strong jaw.
“It has been a while,” responded Henderson after Joe Rogan asked how it felt to finally get a win in the Octagon. “This opponent was just as tough as any opponent I’ve faced in here. I felt pretty comfortable in there, but normally I’m more aggressive in there; so I apologize for that. He’s damn dangerous and not the best match-up for me.”