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

UFC 187 Full Fight Flashback: Daniel Cormier Taps Out Dan Henderson

  • 10 days ago
  • 8 views

MMA veterans Daniel "DC" Cormier and Dan "Hendo" Henderson battled at UFC 173 to see who is the top light heavyweight contender. read news >>

Radius Strike Series: Striking Coach Daniel Woirin

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

From Anderson Silva to Dan Henderson, Daniel Woirin has been a part of some of the biggest fights in UFC history. read news >>

Video: Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson free fight

  • 15 days ago
  • 10 views

Rewind to UFC Fight Night 32 to see Vitor Belfort's stunning KO of Dan Henderson. Before Vitor Belfort's championship showdown with Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 187 on May 23, the read news >>

Ryan Bader pulled from UFC Fight Night 68, moving Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson into FOX Sports 1 main event

  • 18 days ago
  • 7 views

Later, Bader. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was unable to find Ryan Bader a new opponent for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 68 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, locked and loaded for the Smoothie read news >>

Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch bumped to main event of UFC Fight Night card in New Orleans

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

With no available replacement for Daniel Cormier to face Ryan Bader on June 6th, middleweights Dan Henderson and Tim Boetsch will be the new main event for the UFC Fight Night card in New Orleans. Wh read news >>

With Ryan Bader removed, Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch headlines UFC Fight Night 68

  • 18 days ago
  • 18 views

Ryan Bader has officially been removed from UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 and originally scheduled co-main event between Dan Henderson and Tim Boetsch has been promoted to the top of the card. Filed u read news >>

Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson Elevated to UFC New Orleans Headliner

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC Fight Night 68 got a facelift on Monday with a middleweight bout between Tim Boetsch and Dan Henderson being elevated to the main event. read news >>

Ryan Bader off card, Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch headlines UFC New Orleans

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

Ryan Bader will have to wait for his next fight. The UFC light heavyweight contender was slated to meet Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 in New Orleans. But Cormier wa read news >>

Video: Watch UFC 187's Vitor Belfort crush Dan Henderson in 2013

  • 19 days ago
  • 11 views

After three consecutive knockout victories, Vitor Belfort is finally getting his long-awaited middleweight title shot. Check out the final performance that earned him the opportunity.Filed under: New read news >>