UFC 139 Fight Card Primer: Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Light Heavyweight opponents Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson face off after weighing in during the UFC 139 Weigh In at the HP Pavilion on November 18, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In the main event of UFC 139, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua, better known to fans as Shogun Rua (20-5; 4-3 UFC) faces former Pride and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Dan Henderson (28-8; 5-2 UFC). This Light Heavyweight fight will determine the next #1 contender to face the winner of Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida. The USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings currently have Shogun ranked as the #2 Light Heavyweight in the world, with Henderson just a few spots lower at #6. The PPV card airs on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

This is a fight with a lot of rich history behind it, dating back to both men's days in Pride. When Pride folded, Shogun was considered by many to be the top 205 pound fighter in the world, and certainly the top in Pride. But Henderson was Pride's champion in that division, having won the belt from Shogun's Chute Boxe teammate Wanderlei Silva. After the end of Pride, both men came to the UFC. They each had a bit of a rocky start, but Shogun eventually won the UFC belt, while Henderson left the organization and claimed his gold in Strikeforce. They should have met a long time ago, and it will be great to see them finally matched up now.

How do these two stack up?

Shogun: 29 years old | 6'1" | 76" reach
Henderson: 41 years old | 5'11" | 71" reach

What have these two done recently?

Shogun: W - Forrest Griffin (KO) | L - Jon Jones (TKO) | W - Lyoto Machida (KO) 
Henderson: W - Fedor Emelianenko (KO) | W - Rafael Cavalcante (KO) | W - Renato Sobral (KO) 

How did these two get here?

Shogun Rua has had a very rough road since the end of Pride. As I said above, he was the young phenom when the organization folded. Feared for his brutal assaults, Shogun was a beast. Then, in his UFC debut, he was choked out by Forrest Griffin, and his star immediately dulled. It wasn't until a pair of fights against Lyoto Machida that resulted in Shogun winning the UFC Light Heavyweight title that he finally began to really look good in the UFC. But since then, he's lost to Jon Jones, and defeated Griffin in a rematch that spoke volumes about Forrest, but didn't tell us much about Shogun. He may have what it takes to regain UFC gold, but his body (and his knees in particular) has taken a lot of damage, and if he's going to make one more run, now is the time.

UFC 139 Results | Dan Henderson Interview | Weigh-In Results

Hendo, Dan Henderson, is a long time veteran whose UFC debut came all the way back at UFC 17. He's an original Team Quest fighter who combines his wrestling with a bomb of a right hand. Hendo spent most of his career in Pride where he was the champion in two separate divisions when the company closed. He returned to the UFC a double champion, losing to UFC champions Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson. He was on a 3-0 UFC streak when he left the company after UFC 100, moving to Strikeforce. There, he won the Light Heavyweight belt, as well as became the first man to knock out Fedor Emelianenko. He's 41 years old, but still fighting as well as he's ever fought, and is a real threat to the UFC Light Heavyweight division.

Why should you care?

If you're a Pride fan, this is the long awaited fight that should have been. If not, it's still two former champions fighting for a shot back at the top. They match up well stylistically too, and this one should be good.

More UFC 139 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.


UFC 139: The PRIDE History of Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 139: Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139: Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139: Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139 Weigh-In Results: Two Fighters Miss Weight - Tim Burke

UFC 139 Shogun vs Henderson: Staff Picks and Predictions

UFC 139: Nick Pace in a 'Dream Fight' Against Miguel Torres - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 139: Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson Countdown Video - Tim Burke

UFC 139 Roundtable: Did the Marketing Push For UFC on Fox Kill UFC 139's Buy Rate?

UFC 139 Interview: Chris Weidman Talks Wrestling, UFC Jitters, and His Fade - Matthew Roth

UFC 139 Video - Dana White Talks UFC on Fox, Fox 2, and Dan Henderson - Matthew Roth

UFC 139 Judo Chop: Cung Le and the Sanshou Spinning Back Kick - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 139: Bader vs. Brilz, McDonald vs. Soto Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video and Coverage - Tim Burke

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 101: Derek Brunson, UFC 139 Preview - Matt Bishop

UFC 139: Embracing the Beautiful Violence of Mixed Martial Arts - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 139: Shogun vs Henderson Conference Call Quick Quotes - Matthew Roth

UFC 139: Brian Bowles Discusses Fight With Urijah Faber - Tim Burke

UFC 139: Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139: Facebook Undercard Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 139: The Magnificent Ruin of Wanderlei Silva - Leland Roling

UFC 139 Media Call News and Updates - Matthew Roth

UFC 139: Dana White Video Blog, Part One - Tim Burke

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 139: Martin Kampmann Discusses Recent Losses, Fight With Rick Story - Tim Burke

UFC 139 Video: Shogun vs. Henderson In-Depth Preview - Anton Tabuena

UFC 139 Fight Card: Shogun vs. Henderson - Tim Burke

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