When the main point of contention the day after a big UFC pay-per-view event is whether or not the main event was one of the best fights of all time or merely an incredible and thrilling bout, you know you've witnessed something special. There's no doubt that Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua plumbed incredible depths of endurance and will power in their back-and-forth five round war.
There were five fights on the card and all were action-packed and satisfying. Let's review the action.
- Stephan Bonnar and Kyle Kingsbury opened the pay-per-view with one of Bonnar's most dominating-ever UFC career performances. For everything Kingsbury attempted, Bonnar had an answer. Truly this was one of the best outings from "The American Psycho" in years.
- Martin Kampmann showed the true grit of a top contender in surviving an early blitz from the dangerous Rick Story to come back and pick him apart with skilled boxing. In the final frame Kampmann completely turned the tables on Story and beat the former collegiate wrestler at his own game of take downs.
- Urijah Faber resurrected his "California Kid" persona in a brilliant performance against Brian Bowles. Faber did all the things his loyal Northern California fans remember from his heyday as WEC champ from 2005-2007. He used his speed and a series of unconventional strikes to first confuse and then hurt Bowles, landing knees, elbows and punches in a concerted blitz. Then Faber went in for the kill and locked in a vicious guillotine choke that ended Bowles night and promises to set up a title shot rematch for Faber with Dominick Cruz.
- Wanderlei Silva took his time figuring out Cung Le's unconventional style and ate a few kicks and spinning back fists in the process. Once the first round was over and Le began to tire, Silva's legendary killer instinct came out. He hurt the much smaller Le with hard punches on the inside then followed up with a brutal series of knees to the face that crushed Le's nose and sent the local hero crashing to the canvas.
- What else is there to say about the immaculate five round war between Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua beyond "What took them so long to book this fight?" Henderson got things off to a roaring start when he hurt Rua with his trademark right hand in the first round. Shogun didn't take long to get back in the action however, hurting Henderson late in the round. After a very close second round, Henderson nailed Rua with an absolutely devastating right hand in the third. Somehow Shogun survived and went on to finish the round. The last two rounds were all Shogun as he hurt Henderson standing and completely dominated position by repeatedly gaining the mount position on an exhausted Henderson. But it wasn't enough to make up for the first three rounds and the judges awarded the decision to Hendo. An incredible, must-see fight.
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