Dan Henderson Faces Mauricio "Shogun" Rua At UFC 139Reigning Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan “Hendo” Henderson is expected to face former UFC champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 on November 19th in San Jose, California. MMAWeekly.com first reported on the targeted matchup today, and it will most likely headline the card.

Henderson, who became a free agent following his Strikeforce victory over Fedor Emelianenko on July 30th, will return to the UFC for the first time in over two years. The hard-hitting wrestler knocked out Michael “The Count” Bisping at UFC 100. Rua most recently stopped Forrest Griffin last month.

Henderson (28-8-0) lost a pair of undisputed UFC vs PRIDE title fights in 2007 and early 2008, but he rallied back with three straight victories before departing the promotion and signing with Strikeforce. He challenged then-Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields in April 2010, but was unable to finish Shields in round one and ultimately lost a Unanimous Decision. After defeating Renato “Babalu” Sobral for the second time, Henderson captured Strikeforce gold by stopping Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante in March before dispatching of the legendary Emelianenko at the end of July. The 40-year-old Henderson has knocked out 13 opponents to date, including three in a row.

Rua (20-5-0) also held PRIDE gold before joining the ranks of the UFC, as he became the promotion’s 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Champion. He suffered a tough loss in his Octagon debut, however, as he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in the pair’s first meeting at UFC 76. Rua went on to stop Hall of Famers Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell before dropping a controversial decision to then-champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. He avenged the loss to Machida at UFC 113 with a first-round knockout to claim the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but lost it in his first defence against current champ Jon “Bones” Jones. Last month in his home country of Brazil, Rua stopped Griffin in a brief rematch.

The light heavyweight bout between Henderson and Rua could produce fireworks, as the pair are both known for devastating knockout power. Rua has finished 18 of his opponents to date and has long been regarded as one of the sport’s premier 205-pound fighters, but injuries have taken their toll on the 29-year-old. Henderson has proven that he can still compete among the best and a victory over Rua could set the veteran up for a potential run at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

UFC 139 takes place on November 19th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The Henderson-Rua bout will likely be a five-round affair if it serves as the main event.


UFC 139 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Dan “Hendo” Henderson vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua [*]
– Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs Cung Le [*]
– “The California Kid” Urijah Faber vs Brian Bowles
– Rick “The Horror” Story vs Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann
– Ryan “Darth” Bader vs Jason “The Hitman” Brilz
– Gleison Tibau vs Rafael dos Anjos
– “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar vs Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury
– “All-American” Chris Weidman vs “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

*Not yet officially announced.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)