UFC 139: Post Fight Analysis of a Modern Classic

117danhendersonvsshogunrua_large_mediumPromoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.

It doesn't happen often but every now and then sports embody the purity of competition in almost spiritual ways. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson engaged in one of the most brutal wars I have ever witnessed. And really, that's all that needs to be said.

You can't read a PBP or hear people talk about the fight. It's like the Matrix: you have to be shown it. It's the only way to process it. The fight was almost tragic in its brutality. I felt bad about the punishment both men were taking. I felt bad about myself for being lazy and displaying the pile of gut to prove it.

People will split hairs about what the greatest fight in MMA history is, but there is no fight more brutal than Rua vs. Henderson. And I suspect there never will be. For that, it deserves a unique place in mixed martial arts lore.

For a (wannabe) writer, their performance inspires only cliches. And so I'll skip those except to say bravo you two: if there is a heaven you've earned your spot alongside the gods, with a prime Grace Kelly and Allison Brie by your side for the rest of eternity.

  • I'm convinced Dan has three extra layers of epidermis. Seriously, any human being would have been toast during round 4. Unlike Shogun, Dan never seems to get hurt so much as lose his balance, or grow weary. He has a toughness that seems bound by more by physiology than by resolve. It's just incredible. As for Shogun...I mean, what the hell am I supposed to say? His performance stands alongside A Farewell to Arms
  • As for what's next, just give Dan a title shot. Rashad has placed himself in perpetuity, and I don't care. Evans is a really good fighter, but wherever Dan wants to fight for the title, let him have it. As for Shogun, throw him a softball. Softball, thy name is Brandon Vera.
  • The Silva/Le fight was pretty darn interesting. And it was sort of what I expected. Le trying to keep his distance, but actively so with Wand swarming wherever swarming was warranted. While I don't like to see Wand back up I can't help but suspect he sort of has to fight this way. The guy just isn't built for a full tilt brawl anymore, even though his arms are. However, he took a hard spinning back fist, and the ones you don't see coming are the ones that put you down. Silva recovered well. All in all it was a good performance by both men, but I'm a fan of the sport. And a fan of MMA. And for that, I was happy to see Silva win.
  • Why doesn't anyone listen to me? Faber has steadily improved, and I thought he carried his improvements over from the Cruz fight to beat Bowles. Brian doesn't respond well to guys that move, and Faber moves. On top of that, you can't stop his transition abilities. The dude knows how to step on the gas from 0 to 60 in any direction, be it from the feet to the ground, ground to feet, or feet to submission. Bowles is quality, but he gets flustered when someone comes at him.

  • Rick Story showed some nice improvement on the feet but his defensive wrestling is simply not on par with his offensive wrestling. Kampmann will always be hindered by his abilities as a counter puncher with the instincts of a brawler. He stands inside the pocket way too much, looking for the right hand counter but because he doesn't have the power, judges don't reward him and he's not able to turn the fight in his favor. It was still a good performance in a Kampmann way, which is to say it's easy to be impressed by Martin's craftiness in an array of areas while shaming his inability to put together a real gameplan.
  • Why did people think Kyle Kingsbury was some kind of live dog? I realize Bonnar lost to Coleman once, but Stephan is nothing if not incredibly durable. Kingsbury doesn't have much cardio to speak of and as we saw, no ground game to applaud even ironically. The guy just isn't that good. He got trashed by K-Sos and has been feasting on nobodies during his streak. Unkudos to Bonnar for not simply trying to get mount. Instead they were stuck in north south for what seemed like an eternity. In the search for softballs for Shogun, Bonnar is a nice candidate too while I think about it.
  • The SpikeTV fights were interesting because Michael McDonald and Ryan Bader both slept their opponents. Brilz fell into REM in record time, and Alex Soto did his best Steve Nelmark impression.
  • Chris Weidman is a stud. There's no two ways about it. Lawlor tries to secure half guard and Weidman counters with a beautiful and brutal d'arce. The only negative to take away from the fight was referee Dan Stell, unwilling to do his job and actively look to see if Lawlor wasn't passed the hell out.
  • Miguel Torres picked up a win over Nick Pace. That's about it. I was impressed with his performance a first, but there's something weird about Miguels' standup. He doesn't really throw a jab with conviction and when he backs up he relies on slipping the punch. Except he's not Mayweather and even a second rate fighter like Pace (who still doesn't seem to know what the BW weight limit is) can land punches.   
  • Rua, Henderson, Le, and Silva all won FOTN bonuses of 70 thousand a piece.
  • Michael Chandler is your new Bellator LW champion. Awesome fight. Eddie Alvarez has amazing recovery abilities.
  • We are a spoiled bunch.  
  • \The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

    Log In Sign Up

    Log In Sign Up

    Forgot password?

    We'll email you a reset link.

    If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

    Forgot password?

    Try another email?

    Almost done,

    By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

    Join Bloody Elbow

    You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

    Join Bloody Elbow

    You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.




    Choose an available username to complete sign up.

    In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.