On Nov. 19, 2011, the Ultimate Fighting Championship brought the Octagon to the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Headlining the event was the historic bout between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan "Hendo" Henderson. Also on the card were Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le and two former WEC champions squaring off as Urijah Faber fought Brian Bowles. What were the most intriguing storylines from the event?
Martin Kampmann is as Reliable of a Fighter in the UFC Today
Kampmann gutted out a split-decision victory against Rick Story at UFC 139, showcasing again why he is one of the most beloved fighters in the sport. He has been knocking on the doorstep to a title shot for years, but every time he has been within a fight, he has fallen short. He has since defeated Thiago Alves and is set to fight Jake Ellenberger at the TUF 15 finale in June. A win there could finally propel Kampmann to a title shot.
Wanderlei Silva Showed that he Could still Have Title Run left
It's hard to say that anyone who defeated a man who had just three fights since the start of 2008 is primed for another run at a world title, but the performance Silva put up against Cung Le proved that. Silva used powerful knees and punches to put down the impressive striker. Many mixed martial arts fans had wanted to see Le in the UFC for years, but this performance was not one he was hoping to put up in his first showing. He used his exciting kicks, often landing them successfully, the Brazilian was too tough.
Next up for Silva will be a fight with Vitor Belfort at the conclusion of TUF: Brazil, and I think it would be safe to say that a win in that fight should put the 35-year-old in title contention one final time.
Dan Henderson has Such Talent that he shouldn't let time Waste Away on the Sidelines
At 41, Henderson is a lock to enter the UFC Hall of Fame. At 29-8, he has had one of the greatest careers of any fighter in the history of the sport and his fight of the year with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua proved that he can still compete at a high level. He hasn't fought since that night and is waiting on the sidelines for a middleweight title shot at Anderson Silva or a light heavyweight title shot at the winner of Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
Without knowing how much longer Hendo has in his professional career, I wish he would fight an up-and-comer in the sport to see how they would fare. I'm guessing that before the year is complete, Hendo will get a fight for one of the titles, but the more time he spends away from the Octagon, the harder it could be for him to get going.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
- Sports & Recreation
- Martial Arts
- Wanderlei Silva
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Martin Kampmann
- Cung Le