History in the making: Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua set sail for UFC with dual knockouts at PRIDE 33


"As far as talent goes, I think it’s already spoken for itself as far as who the UFC’s champions are. PRIDE had some top guys. Nogueira’s in there as the [interim] champ, and he wasn’t even the champ in PRIDE anymore. Quinton Jackson was [champ] for a while, and obviously he just lost. Anderson Silva had lost in PRIDE and got booted out of there, and now he’s the UFC champ." --Dan Henderson, August 2008

I believe the expression is, "Going out with a bang."

On March 27, 2007, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that it had purchased its biggest rival, PRIDE Fighting Championship (PRIDE), after what UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta called a "long, drawn-out process" to merge the rival mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions.

But the writing was on the wall.

That meant any and all fighters under contract for PRIDE -- as well as those who were wrapping up their final fights for the Japanese-based organization -- wanted to put their best foot forward. After all, the grass was pretty green on the other side of the Pacific ocean.

And the matchmaking possibilities were endless.

But before any potential fantasy fights could take place, Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) had to finish up its schedule of events. Just prior to making the UFC sale official, PRIDE made its debut in "Sin City," featuring a nine-fight card scheduled for February 27, 2007 inside the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And longtime veteran Dan Henderson was booked for the main event.

Opposing him was international "Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva. While the Brazilian was coming off a brutal knockout loss to Mirko Filipovic, most fight fans were willing to give him a mulligan. Wandy, despite his ferocity, was the smallest man in the semifinals of the PRIDE 2006 open weight grand prix.

Now it was time to pick on someone his own size in a rematch from PRIDE 12.

Any hope Silva had of repeating that performance went out the window midway through the third and final frame. Henderson landed his patented "H-Bomb" and Wandy was asleep before he hit the canvas. "Hendo's" last memory of PRIDE would be concussing "The Axe Murderer."

But he wasn't the only one dropping bombs in the UFC's backyard.

Elsewhere on the card, Mauricio Rua was also getting into the rematch business, agreeing to let Alistair Overeem attempt to right his wrongs in the PRIDE middleweight grand prix back in 2005, where the towering Dutchman was pounded out by "Shogun" midway through the opening round.

History has a funny way of repeating itself.

Rua once again came out with bad intentions and floored "Demolition Man" at 3:37 of round one, improving his record to 16-2 and sending "The Reem" to the heavyweight division. "Shogun" would leave the promotion the same way he came in, standing over the prone body of an opponent.

Then came his transition to the Octagon.

Like Henderson before him, Rua would prove to be hot and cold for most of his UFC career, compiling a 6-6 record across a span of nearly seven years. "Hendo," by contrast, went 4-5 (not including Strikeforce), with his last win coming over "Shogun" in a five-round death match at UFC 139.

And UFC has asked them to run it back.

They'll step into the Octagon for another five rounds just over two years after their initial go-round, now as the headlining act of UFC Fight Night 38 on FOX Sports 1, which takes place inside the Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil, on Sunday, March 23, 2014.

For a look back at how they nearly killed each other at UFC 139 click here.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Two of the biggest names in the history of Brazilian MMA will serve as opposing coaches on that country's next version of The Ultimate Fighter. UFC.com's Brazilian site reported on Wednesday that lon read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

Dan Henderson is headed south for the winter, according to UFC Tonight. The longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran is "probably" going to drop down from the light heavyweight division to 185 pound read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 269 views

Former UFC champ and PRIDE legend Mauricio Rua suffered his second consecutive knockout loss, this time in just 34 seconds. It’s easy to say he shouldn’t keep doing this to himself, but harder to say read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 3 views

Dan Henderson is returning to the middleweight division and will co-headline UFC on FOX 14 in January.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

He's back! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has booked Dan Henderson for his middleweight return against fellow well-traveled veteran Gegard Mousasi in the UFC on FOX 14 co-main event inside the read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC is going big for its first European stadium show, adding Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi as the UFC on FOX 14 co-main event. read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 0 views

It didn't take long for the UFC's return to Sweden to get some fire power. On Wednesday UFC president Dana White announced that light heavyweight contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson w read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 4 views

Dan Henderson will return to the middleweight division to face Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fox 14. read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

The January 24 UFC on Fox 14 card has its co-main event, and it's a killer matchup in the middleweight division. Former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson will drop to 185 pounds to take on read news >>

Jump to: