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Shogun, Henderson Set To Clash In Rematch At UFC Fight Night 38

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 3/22/2014 12:09:57 AM

Forget the championship belts, because that isn’t what this is about. It’s about the sport, it’s about the fans, and it’s about pride. Dan Henderson will clash with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this Sunday night in Brazil, in a special five-round fight that will serve as the main event for UFC Fight Night 38. Henderson won the first bout between these two MMA stars via unanimous decision at UFC 139 back in November of 2011, and will put it all on the line again in a rematch that is destined to deliver.

A lot had changed since these two first met inside the Octagon. Their initial bout is recognized by several MMA experts as the Fight of the Year for 2011, and it is still talked about as one of the greatest UFC fights of all-time. Both fighters laid it all on the line in an incredible fight that went the distance, with Henderson eventually getting the nod. However, Henderson is listed as the underdog for the rematch at plus-195 odds, compared to the favorite Rua at minus-235. Rua is much younger and still has a long way to go before he retires, although this fight still represents a crossroads for both competitors.

Henderson is now 43-years old, 11 years older than Shogun. He will also face a tough decision after this next bout, which will be his last while still being able to benefit from the effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission has followed in the Nevada State Athletic Commission and banned the future use of TRT, and while Henderson disagrees with the decision, he isn’t about to fight it. Henderson will not back down from this next opportunity, and if this is his final UFC bout, he will look to go out on top.

Meanwhile, for Shogun, this fight is about earning a measure of redemption and taking another step in the right direction after beating James Te-Huna last December. Rua has been the victim of some missed opportunities dating back to his loss to Henderson, splitting his four fights since including back-to-back losses to Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen. The loss to Sonnen was perhaps the most surprising, as he was forced to submit to a guillotine choke just 4:47 in to that fight. Shogun bounced back with a knockout win over Te-Huna just 1:03 in to the first round of their tilt, and now has the chance to string together consecutive wins and take another step towards something more.

Shogun deserves to be the favorite, and it would be somewhat of a surprise if he falls short. He is much younger than Henderson, and still in the prime of his career. The two went the distance in the first meeting, and considering how close that bout was, age could play an even bigger role. Regardless of who comes out on top, this fight is already being touted as one of the early events of 2014 that fans can’t miss. Shogun has more to lose, but Henderson won’t go down without a fight.

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