Shogun Rua Remains UFC Elite

Shogun Rua – One fight after losing his belt to Jon Jones, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua showed that he remains an elite light heavyweight by quickly knocking out Forrest Griffin at UFC 134. Now, Rua will look to take another step toward reclaiming his belt by defeating Dan Henderson at UFC 139.

Henderson, a world-class wrestler with knockout power, will be a tough opponent for Rua, though. Jones’ Greco-Roman wrestling, an area that Henderson is also particularly strong in, proved difficult for Rua to defend.

In order to avoid a similar fate against Henderson, Rua must keep his distance and use his powerful leg kicks to stay out of the range of Henderson’s notorious right hand. Rua is a younger, quicker fighter than Henderson, so his footwork alone should be enough to stay on the outside.

However, if Rua does make a mistake and allows Henderson to work inside or clinch, he could find himself on his back or waking up after getting hit with an “H-Bomb.” 

Luckily for Rua, Henderson prefers to stand and throw his overhand right, so he may not have to worry about avoiding the clinch very often. Though, if Rua clearly has the upper-hand in the striking department, Henderson is fully capable of locking up and throwing the Brazilian to the canvas.

Henderson has never been knocked out, but he has shown signs of having a mortal chin by being rocked in his past two appearances. If Rua can connect and not allow Henderson space to recover, becoming the first fighter to ever knock out Henderson would certainly give Rua a bargaining chip for another shot at the light heavyweight title.