Dan Henderson added to his legacy tonight, claiming the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title with a huge knockout win over Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Feijao became another victim of Henderson's legendary right hand early in the third round, collapsing face down after the huge shot. A few more shots on the ground ended Feijao's night and cemented the fact that Henderson definitely still has it at 40 years old.
A big leg kick from Feijao opened the fight. Henderson finally threw the right at 1:15, but missed, and Feijao came back with a huge overhand right that actually dropped Hendo. While Feijao waded in for the kill, Henderson popped up and got the takedown immediately. He spent the next two minutes getting his senses back until referee Dan Mirgliotta stood them up with two minutes remaining. Henderson threw the right again and missed, but used the opportunity to get Feijao against the cage and throw some knees and body shots. After being separated by Mirgliotta, the round ended uneventfully.
Henderson opened round two with a leg kick and threw the right hand a few times, landing a couple of glancing blows. Henderson worked it against the cage again, grinding away and landing short strikes while looking for a takedown. Feijao then tried to get the trip takedown, but Henderson used his greco roman wrestling and dragged Feijao to the floor. Feijao quickly pulled off a very nice reversal, but did nothing with top position and Mirgliotta stood them up again with 90 seconds to go. Feijao missed with a few strikes that weren't set up well, only for Hendo to drag him to the ground once again, where Henderson landed some elbows to the thigh until the bell.
Henderson came out in the third quickly with a right and looked to grind against the cage again, but Feijao pushed back. And then just like that, Henderson landed that huge patented right hand and Feijao collapsed to the floor face down. Henderson quickly jumped onto him, sank in hooks and landed some big punches, which was enough for Mirgliotta to step in and stop the fight at 50 seconds of round 3.
Henderson (27-8, 2-1 SF), was looking to add another title to his impressive tally with a win over defending champion Feijao (10-3, 3-2 SF). The former Pride Middleweight (205 lb) and Welterweight (183 lb) champion and all-time MMA great knocked out Renato "Babalu" Sobral in December to earn the title shot, after dropping his first fight in Strikeforce to Jake Shields at 185 lbs. Feijao was coming off a title win over King Mo Lawal, and had won 3 fights in a row overall, all by stoppage.