Now, I will never complain when Dan Henderson or Shogun Rua are scheduled to enter the Octagon, but with this booking it seems like the UFC is attempting to catch lightening in a bottle a second time. Their first fight is my favorite fight of all time. From Hendo’s early dominance to Shogun’s late round resurgence, I was going absolutely bananas throughout the entire 25 minutes. Now remember, that was 2011, this is 2014… Both fighters are much older and much further away from the title picture. Will they willingly go toss haymakers for five rounds like last time? Or could we see a conservative effort from the duo in order to preserve their aging careers?
All that I can hope for as an MMA fan is that we aren’t stuck with a Caddyshack II to the original fight’s Caddyshack here. I have some hope, Alvarez/Chandler II was just as exhilerating as the first, but those two fighters were much younger with much more at stake. Will these two legends thrown down to save this rather lackluster card? (That I couldn’t even be bothered to preview. Now that’s saying something…) Let’s pray to the MMA Gods of Mt. Xyience that they do…
Shogun is a 2-1 favorite in this fight. That makes sense as he is coming off a solid KO of James Te-Huna. The ever resilient Henderson is on a rare 3 fight losing streak. His “losses” to Machida and Evans were razor thin split decisions where Hendo simply couldn’t get his opponent to engage him in the street fighting style that he prefers. Even though those two tilts could have gone either way, ViToR BelforT nearly took Henderson’s head off back in November to hand the former olympic wrestler the first KO loss of his career.
I really have no idea how to predict this one. If they stand toe to toe, I could see it being another classic scrap. If Hendo were smart, he would use his wrestling to make this thing ugly and frustrate Rua. In reality, I see a newly dedicated Rua working out a decision victory with superior movement and a varied striking attack. It is sad to say, but Father Time may have finally caught up to the legendary Hendo.
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