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UFC 139 Live Blog: Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson Updates

Shogun Rua faces Dan Henderson at UFC 139.UFC 139Dan HendersonUFC

pay-per-view from the HP Pavilion.

In this light heavyweight bout, Henderson (28-8) makes his return to the UFC after a two-year stint with Strikeforce. Henderson has won his last three fights, most recently a TKO over Fedor Emelianenko in July. Rua (20-5) lost his UFC belt in March to Jon Jones and then bounced back with a KO over Forrest Griffin in August.

Round 1: Referee Josh Rosenthal brings them to the center and they tough gloves to start us off. Rua tosses out a couple kicks and Hendo wastes no time blasting him with a big right hand just as Rua is reaching for a takedown. Rua is hurt. Hendo thinks about a guillotine, then releases it and fires away with a punch combo as Rua covers up. We're barely a minute in and Rua is bleeding everywhere. Hendo drops him to the mat and just walks away rather than following into his guard. Good knee from Rua, but Henderson is unfazed. Rua tries for a takedown, but that's going to be tough against Henderson. Rua fires off a big punch and now Hendo is down. He reaches for a single-leg as Rua hamerfists the side of his head, and it buys him enough time to recover. Hendo is backing away now, clearly wary of Rua's power. They end the round in the clinch, both men grabbing some air. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Henderson.

Round 2: Hendo starts the round with a little more respect for Rua's power, looking for a takedown when the Brazilian moves in too close. They get stuck in a clinch against the fence, but it's only temporary. Back in the center, Hendo lands a good right that sends Rua backwards, then slams him with some body shots when he covers up. They're slugging it out in the center now, with both man getting his licks in. Hendo presses Rua against the fence and tries to sap some of his strength in close. Rua's good and bloodied up, breathing out of his mouth. Rosenthal moves in to separate them, and Hendo has some words for the ref. Both men are looking a little worn, but Hendo manages one last good uppercut before the round ends. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Henderson.

Round 3: Hendo goes back to work with the right, and Rua backs him off with a kick. Hendo moves in and lands that vicious uppercut again. Takedown attempt results in a brief scramble, but they're quickly back to their feet and swinging away. Big right by Hendo and Rua is down again. Hendo jumps on him and bounces his head off the mat with more rights, but Rua hangs on and even uses a heel hook to put Hendo on the defensive. Rua's up and pressing Hendo into the fence. Rua's face is a mess now, but he's still in it. Hendo works short elbows as Rua looks for the takedown, but Rua stays after it and puts him down. Hendo works back to his feet and Rua slams him with short lefts all the way. What an incredible fight. Both men stagger aimlessly around after the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Henderson, but honestly, I wouldn't argue with you on most of these rounds.

Round 4: Rua shoots for a takedown right away and gets it, but Henderson reverses him flips him over in a crucifix position. Hendo sees the opportunity for a rear-naked choke, but Rua is slipping out so he transitions to mount, but can't hang on. Rua's left eye looks completely closed as they get to their feet again. A weary Hendo lands a takedown and then scores with some rights after standing up over the grounded Rua. Rua won't quit though, and he's back up again, blinking through the blood. Then, as has been the pattern, Rua comes to life in the final two minutes of the round. He rocks Henderson and sends him reeling. Hendo tries for a takedown, but can't get it. He may be out on his feet here. Rua gets him down, takes mount, and nearly locks up an RNC, but Hendo rolls into top position and barely survives the round. Amazing. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rua.

Round 5: An exhausted-looking Henderson moves in low and gets flipped onto his back by Rua to start the final frame. Rua takes mount and swings away as Henderson's mouthpiece goes flying. Henderson tries to hang on and manages to pull Rua in with a guillotine that allows him to replace half-guard. Rua slips into mount again and Henderson just can't get him off. Rua works short blows from the top. All Hendo can do is try to survive and minimize the damage. Less than two minutes to go, and Rua has slowed his work rate, but is still in control. Rua postures up to punch and bounces Hendo's head off the mat a couple times before Hendo recovers half-guard. 30 seconds left, and Rua's back to mount. Hendo escapes one last time in the final ten seconds, and he'll survive the round. Should be interesting to see what the judges say. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 for Rua.

Dan Henderson def. "Shogun" Rua via unanimous decision (48-47 x 3)

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