Written By: AJ Hoffman
Photos Courtesy: Heavy MMA
Henderson Edges Shogun In All-Time Great
Some people questioned whether or not a fight between MMA legends Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua in late 2011 could ever live up to the potential that it may have had 5 or 6 years ago. It went so far beyond any hype that it’s laughable. The main event, which was the first to ever non-title fight to go five rounds, is already being called by many the greatest fight of all time. Hendo came out strong in the first and had Rua in early trouble. Rua came back late in the round and floored Henderson with a right hand, leaving the first as the closest round of the night. The second was more of Henderson landing heavy right hands, bloodying Shogun. The third continued the battering, with Henderson nearly stopping Rua with punches. The extra rounds proved beneficial for Rua, as Henderson looked badly gassed in the fourth round. Rua controlled the round with takedowns and ground and pound. The fifth saw an even more dominant round for Shogun, spending much of the round reigning punches from the mount. In the end all the judges saw it the same way, 48-47 for Dan Henderson. The outcome is already being hotly debated, but one thing is not. This was an an instant classic.
Dan Henderson def. Shogun Rua by unanimous decision
Wanderlei Outlasts Le In Slugfest
Wanderlei Silva proved that he isn’t quite done yet. As he has in the past, just when the MMA world is ready to hang his gloves up for him, Silva put on a career-saving performance. Despite being stung and stumbled multiple times in the first round, Silva never stopped throwing. In the second he landed a strong right hand, got a clinch and started delivering knees to the head. The barrage dropped Le and Silva finished with punches, giving Le only his second career loss.
Wanderlei Silva def. Cung Le by TKO (RD 2)
Faber Returns To Form, Earns Title Shot
Urijah Faber looked like the dominant championship level fighter he was in the WEC, dominating former champion Brian Bowles from start to brutal finish. Early in the first Faber landed a huge slam and followed it up with violent elbows from the top. He dominated in the standup as well, and in the second he got through with a nasty uppercut that staggered Bowles. Relentless, Faber swarmed with punches and elbows until a battered Bowles shot in desperately. Faber grabbed a guillotine and forced the tap at 1:47 of the second round. The win likely gets Faber another shot at champion Dominick Cruz, whom he has split with in two meetings.
Urijah Faber def. Brian Bowles by submission (RD 2)
Kampmann Snaps Losing Streak, Takes Split Decision Over Story
Rick Story started out looking like he had returned to the form that had him on the brink of title contention. He peppered the body and face of the Dane, outstriking the striker in the first frame. The second and third were a different story. Kampmann landed crisp, accurate shots and when Story did secure a takedown, he was quick to bounce back up. In the last round, Kampmann got a takedown and took Story’s back, forcing the wrestler to fight for survival. He did, but the damage was done, and Kampmann took it on the scorecards 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29. Kampmann was coming off two straight losses before the victory.
Martin Kampmann def. Rick Story by split decision
Bonnar Dominates Kingsbury, Shakes Off Boo-Birds
Stephan Bonnar had arguably his best performance in years, dominating Kyle Kingsbury from bell to bell with takedowns and ground and pound. The crowd didn’t enjoy the performance, apparently expecting to see a classic Bonnar slugfest, regardless of the outcome. Either way, the win was Bonnar’s third straight, and the loss snapped a four fight win streak for Kingsbury. The scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 30-25. After the win, Bonnar said that he was hoping for a shot at former champion Rampage Jackson.
- Ryan Bader def. Jason Brilz by KO (RD 1)
- Michael McDonald def. Alex Soto by KO (RD 1)
- Chris Weidman def. Tom Lawlor by technical submission (RD 1)
- Gleison Tibau def. Rafael dos Anjos by split decision
- Miguel Torres def. Nick Pace by unanimous decision
- Seth Baczynski def. Matt Brown by submission (RD 2)
- Danny Castillo def. Shammar Bailey by TKO (RD 1)