Henderson, the former Pride champion of two different weight classes, has won the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, defeating Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio with a third-round technical knockout.
Henderson got off to a slow start but put on a tremendous finish, drilling Feijao with a hard right hand to knock him down, then finishing him with about half a dozen more punches on the ground before referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight, awarding Henderson the TKO win.
"Leading up to this fight everyone was talking about the belt," Henderson said. "I didn't give it much thought until now. It's definitely going to be an honor to have that Strikeforce belt."
The victory improves Henderson's record to 27-8. Feijao, who was defending the title for the first time, falls to 10-3.
Henderson's slow start included Feijao knocking him down with a big punch, but when Feijao pounced, Henderson grabbed him and slammed him back down, getting on top on the ground. Once inside Feijao's guard, Henderson seemed perfectly content to simply rest, and Miragliotta eventually stood them up. The rest of the round was mostly a feeling out process, and it was a round that Feijao deserved to win thanks to that knockdown.
In the second round Henderson started to pick up the pace, however, showing off some nifty work in the clinch, throwing Feijao onto his back after a long struggle. But Henderson wasn't able to do any damage once they got to the ground, and when they stood up it was, again, mostly a feeling out process. But Henderson managed a second takedown with about 30 seconds to go and landed the round on top in half guard, and he deserved to win the second.
And then came that TKO, which happened just 50 seconds into the third round. It was a sensational ending for Henderson, who still has plenty of fight left in him at 40.
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