Not that a stoic like Dan Henderson would look at this way, but those were some crazy f---ing circumstances he overcame on Sunday night in Natal, Brazil. Here was a 43-year old man who’d lost three fights in a row walking out in enemy territory in muggy 93 degree weather to fight Mauricio Rua, who by the way was hell-bent on revenge after all that turbulence in San Jose a couple of years ago.

Perhaps it was predictable that Shogun come out like a bull at Pamplona for ten solid minutes, goring Henderson with everything he threw at UFC Fight Night 38. Sunday was Shogun’s night, after all -- it was his party. Henderson was essentially knocked out at one point, and severely parted of wit on another. His "intelligent defense" was more theoretical than actual as he fished around for Shogun’s leg, trying to cling to something that might keep him from schlepping off towards his ancestors in Valhalla.

By the end of the second round, the game’s most famous chin was barely holding up. How much more punishment could Dan Henderson, a middle-aged man who woke up to the shouts of his cornermen to drop that "H-bomb" whenever he saw Rua flash that jab, take in this young man’s game?

Not much more. But he still had punishment to dish out.

Henderson coolly landed a clean, resounding short right cross that dropped Shogun where he stood on a clinch break in the third round. It was a spectacular knockout not only for how crisp it landed (think of his KO of Michael Bisping but in a phone booth), but for how sudden it turned the tables, and how arbitrary it made everything that stood before it. It cancelled out all things at once; from the tides of momentum going against him to the eulogies the writers were drawing up in his inevitable retirement to the decibel levels in Natal. A few of hammerfist follow-ups and Shogun was done.

Henderson, improbably, defied everything at once to score that victory.

"[Shogun] definitely dinged me a little bit," Henderson said in a classic Henderson understatement afterwards. "He definitely rang my bell in the first round also and again in the second. I just decided to be patient. I think I was a little too patient the first two rounds. I wasn’t very offensive. That third round we both decided to get after it and leave things where we left the last fight."

All of these things are of course what makes Dan Henderson a fight game marvel. It’s not just that he’s a quadragenarian in a twentysomethings game -- besides, his rap is that he takes potions (TRT) to better meet the playing field -- it’s that it’s like he doesn’t care all that much. He just shows up and tries to punch holes in the thing in front of him. Sometimes it’s Fedor Emelianenko. Sometimes it’s Rich Franklin or Wanderlei Silva. Sometimes it’s Mauricio Rua. And sometimes, like what happened his previous outing in Brazil, it’s Vitor Belfort, where he ends up the one getting asked what month it is.

Whatever. Henderson is sort of always an octave below the excitement level, totally even keel and thinking about some barbecue or other. He gets socked good in the first two rounds and is on the verge of collapse and says he was "dinged up." When he spits into a can it makes a sharp ping. This dude makes chaos feel casual, and that is a pretty neat trick.

Of course, the Shogun victory staves off the inevitable. Nobody’s going to demand Henderson walk away now, and, with a new UFC contract, he won’t. He’ll fight again, probably before his 44th birthday in August. There will be queries into the TRT to TNT exchange rate, particularly now that he was fought in the last bout where testosterone exemptions are to be doled out (at least in Brazil and Nevada).

But, then again, he put TRT aside for Rashad Evans in Winnipeg and didn’t get all bent out of shape about it. He lost, but didn’t issue too many excuses. You get the feeling he’ll show up one way or the other, and just sort of throw out an "it is what it is" when people press. There will be more Hendo fights one way or another. How many more, who knows, but his defiance as of Monday -- of age, of circumstance, of common sense -- knows no bounds.

And if Sunday night’s knockout of Shogun Rua ends up being his last good hurrah, he certainly made it a memorable one. Not that, you know, you’d ever catch Hendo using a word like hurrah.

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

Related News

Coach: Dan Henderson wanted Vitor Belfort or Anderson Silva after last fight

  • 15 days ago
  • 36 views

There were those on Dan Henderson's team who thought the MMA legend would just ride off into the sunset after his first-round knockout over Tim Boetsch in June. They thought the 44-year-old might tak read news >>

Belfort wants Weidman or 'trash talker' Rockhold after getting past Henderson

  • 16 days ago
  • 34 views

Vitor Belfort believes a win over Dan Henderson in November will earn him another immediate title opportunity. Vitor Belfort might have been handed a decisive loss in his title fight against Chris We read news >>

Fabricio Werdum responds to critics, wants rematch with Cain Velasquez at soccer stadium

  • 16 days ago
  • 32 views

Fabricio Werdum submitted Cain Velasquez in Mexico City, and wants to fight on his home turf this time around. The UFC heavyweight champion will put his title on the line for the first time in a rema read news >>

Vitor Belfort wants title shot with win over Dan Henderson in Brazil

  • 16 days ago
  • 24 views

Vitor Belfort needed three explosive wins in 2013 to earn a shot at the middleweight title, and hopes one win is enough for him to get enter another title fight. "The Phenom" is slated to meet Dan He read news >>

Goal-oriented Vitor Belfort wants another title shot after he beats Dan Henderson or he could be 'out'

  • 17 days ago
  • 72 views

Vitor Belfort, 38, isn't getting any younger. And that means he wants to see if he can accomplish his goals in mixed martial arts (MMA) without having to wait. The hard-hitting Ultimate Fighting Cham read news >>

Vitor Belfort vs Dan Henderson trilogy match set for UFC Fight Night 77 in Brazil

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

"The Phenom" takes on "Hendo" for a third time in Sao Paulo later this year. Trolling Dan Henderson trolls. Last night (Sat., Aug. 1, 2015) was an immensely entertaining night of mixed martial arts ( read news >>

Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort 3 to headline UFC Fight Night

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC has booked the MMA legends to headline a November Fight Night card in Sao Paulo, Brazil. UFC legend Dan Henderson tweeted his next opponent last night. He'll be facing Vitor Belfort for the t read news >>

Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort 3 Headlines UFC Return to Brazil in November

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort will fight for a third time in the UFC Fight Night 77 main event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 7. read news >>

Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort Trilogy Fight Signed for Sao Paulo in November

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort will run it back. The two MMA veterans will clash in November in Sao Paulo, Brazil. UFC Fight Night 78 will be the event on November 7. The two first met in PRIDE 32 i read news >>

UFC Fight Night 78 set for Sao Paulo with Vitor Belfort-Dan Henderson trilogy rematch

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

RIO DE JANEIRO – The UFC will return to Brazil in November for a trilogy rematch between Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>