Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua
Jacob Cooper: As much as I would love for this fight to be an instant classic like the first, I think both fighters have made such rapid declines since UFC 139 that this won’t be quite as entertaining. I also fear that now Henderson’s untested chin has been conquered by Belfort, he may become vulnerable to the knockout like Liddell, Arlovski etc. have shown can happen. Rua bounced back emphatically in his last fight, with his back against the cage both proverbially and literally, and he has shown that he certainly isn’t lacking in the power department. I think Shogun has declined, but not quite to the extent of Henderson – even with his TRT – and this fight will show that. I hate to predict it, but I think Shogun knocks Henderson into retirement. I’d love to be wrong, and I would love to see a classic like the first fight where both test each others chins and so on and so forth, but I’m going head over heart for this prediction. Shogun via 2nd round (T)KO.
Kevin Thang: Shogun has the bigger gas tank of the two fighters. He’s a difficult guy to knockout, more diverse striker. Needs to avoid the obvious H-bomb of Henderson, and I see him taking over the fight in the later rounds. Shogun via decision.
Kristian Ibarra: I honestly don’t see this as a great rematch to one of the greatest fights ever. Both of these guys are well past their prime and unless we see a H-Bomb knockout in the first three rounds, we’ll be seeing two gassed fighters in the championship rounds. Shogun via decision.
Jessie Lorenty: This fight has been hyped up so much because of their first meeting, but people forget that rematches are rarely as good as the originals. This is still a great fight regardless of the past, this time around I don’t see it going to a decision. Both men are in the twilight of their career and both want to prove they still have something left in them. More so is Hendo, coming in on a three fight skid he needs to win and win impressively if he doesn’t want talk of retirement surrounding him. Shogun is coming off a brutal knockout of James Te Huna so while this fight is still important to him the “must win” pressure isn’t as heavy on him as it is for Henderson. I see this fight having an amazing first round where either one could score a knock out but I don’t see either of them having the gas tank to go all five rounds again. Shogun hasn’t been stopped with strikes since Jones wiped the floor with him but I see the legendary H-bomb making a triumphant return and Hendo winning by KO. Henderson via 2nd round (T)KO.