Back in 2011 at UFC 139, Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua fought in one of the greatest fights of all time. There epic back-and-forth war, on November 19th, won “Fight of the Year” honours for both men and will be remembered for years to come.
Last month fans were ecstatic to find out that the pair had been booked for a rematch in March, at UFC Fight Night 38; the fight is now eagerly being awaited on.
“Shogun” spoke to MMAFighting.com recently about his upcoming fight with “Hendo”, saying he expects their rematch to be great just like the first.
“He’s a tough opponent and comes forward all the time,” Rua said. “He’s a specialist in the striking game and I’m sure he’ll try that against me. It’s going to be an interesting fight.”
“We’re both aggressive fighters, we don’t go there to play it safe, so it’s going to be a great fight. The first fight with Dan Henderson was a war, everybody loved it. Every MMA fan wants to see it again and, God willing, I’ll get out with the win this time.”
Henderson picked up a unanimous decision win in their last fight but many fans thought the fight was a lot closer, possibly even being a draw; maybe even a win for Rua. However, the former UFC light-heavyweight champion says he has “already swallowed” the close loss but he still thinks the judges made the wrong call.
“I can’t do anything about it, but I think a draw would have been fairer,” Rua said. “But it’s in the past. I’m focused on March 23 now.”
The Brazilian knows the fight is an important one for him as well as Henderson, but this time Rua isn’t prepared on leaving the outcome in the hands of the judges.
“It’s a rematch, and I’m going there to get a win. I will go for the finish all the time. Everybody knows that that’s how I fight, so I’m going for the knockout.”
Rua might be a lot more confident coming into this fight than he was back in 2011. When they first fought Henderson was coming off a three-fight win streak, with his last fight being the biggest win of his career.
This time around Henderson is coming in on the end of three straight losses, with the most recent being the first knockout loss of his career.
Do you think Rua has what it takes to knock “Hendo” out?