In what was a billed as the most anticipated rematch in UFC history, Dan Henderson survived some very heavy early weather to down Mauricio Rua in the third round. Not only did Henderson put emphasis on the rematch by landing a sharp right counter off a clinch break, but he took home an extra $100,000 for his efforts.
Henderson won both the Knockout of the Night and one of the Performance of the Night awards at UFC Fight Night 38 in Natal, Brazil. Each bonus was $50,000.
The 43-year-old Henderson was caught early in the with a couple of big shots by Shogun, to the point that it looked like he'd been knocked out towards the end of the first round. Herb Dean, who's been criticized recently for stopping fights too early at both UFC 170 (in Ronda Rousey's win over Sara McMann) and UFC 169 (in Renan Barao's victory over Urijah Faber) let the round finish out.
In the second, once again Henderson was rocked and again looked on the verge of getting finished, but he still had the presence of mind to keep Rua close when he ended up on his back midway through the round. By the third, in a fight that had been all Rua up to that point, Henderson finally landed a violent -- and clean -- counter right hand to Rua's nose that dropped him where he stood. Henderson came in for a couple of hammerfists before Dean stopped the fight.
This time it might not qualify for fight of the year honors, but Henderson may be in the running for Comeback of the Year. For his efforts, Rua also took home the other half of the Fight of the Night bonus ($50,000).
As for the other Performance of the Night honor, that went to Brazil's own Godofredo Pepey, who scored one of the best knockouts of 2014 thus far with a flying knee against Israeli fighter Noad Lahat. The end came in the first round, as Pepey -- who needed a win in the worst way to secure his roster spot in the UFC -- launched himself vertically towards, landing his knee clean into Lahat's face. Lahat was knocked out on impact, and fell backwards against the fence in a sitting position.
Pepey took home $50,000.