Despite the odds being against him, the 40-year-old veteran put on one of his best performances to date as he shut down Victor Henry round after round both on the feet and on the ground to earn a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Assuncao, who gets a much needed win while rejuvenating his UFC career at the same time.
“So much emotion right now,” Assuncao said. “I was in the best shape of my life at 40 years old. I was thinking of retirement, I don’t want to make decisions right now but it’s close.”
The bantamweights were battling for position on the feet with Henry acting as the aggressor and Assuncao settling into a counter striking game. While Henry was peppering away with higher volume, Assuncao was connecting with better impact as he measured his shots in return.
After taking advantage of an earlier slip on a kick from Henry at the start of the second round, Assuncao looked to display his dominance on the ground after he landed on top. Assuncao was heavy as he pressed down on Henry, throwing short, stiff punches that were starting to do some damage.
Assuncao’s ability to stave off submission attempts and then punish Henry on the ground helped him add up even more points on the scorecards. As the third round got underway, Henry’s coaches were urging him to look for the finish because a decision may not go his way.
That led to Henry coming forward and putting power behind all of his punches but Assuncao had no problem matching him in that department. Assuncao continuously invited Henry to come after him before unloading a nasty straight right hand and then followed with a huge left hook behind it.
Assuncao also did a good job grabbing Henry’s kicks to threaten with the takedown, which gave him another avenue to mix up his offensive onslaught. No matter what Henry was throwing at him, Assuncao always seemed to have the answer and that led to a shutout on the scorecards as he gets the job done.
Once considered a legitimate bantamweight title contender, Assuncao proved that he still has plenty of fight left in him after dispatching Henry at UFC Vegas 62.