The rematch did not last as long as the first war, but it was no less brutal. Back in 2011, Dan Henderson won a razor-close decision over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua after five rounds but Sunday it took "Hendo" under three rounds to knock the former UFC light heavyweight champion out with a right hook to the nose and strikes on the ground.
"This one probably means more than most," the two-time Olympic wrestler and two-division world champion said.
"'Shogun' has been such a big part of mixed martial arts and is such a talented and tough fighter."
In the first round, Henderson and Rua traded left punches and knockdowns. Henderson struck first, rocking the Brazilian before eating a right-left combo himself, next, and getting dropped to the mat.
From there, Rua finished the round on top of Henderson. In the second round, Shogun dropped Henderson again with a huge uppercut punch.
Henderson managed to survive the round but appeared to be on his way out of the fight, heading into the third period. Rua paid for letting Henderson stick around when, in the third round, "Hollywood Dan" threw a right hook on separation from the clinch with his younger foe that landed right on the button on Rua and dropped the home town fighter.
Rua spun and rolled backwards on the mat before Henderson followed up with punches to the head, forcing referee Herb Dean to step in and call a halt to the bout. The win snaps a three-right losing streak for Henderson.
The loss is Rua's third in his last four bouts.
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