Dana White on UFC 139: Henderson vs. Rua one of best fights ever
Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's light heavyweight match no doubt left quite an impression on everyone present at UFC 139 on Saturday night, including the fighters themselves. Both men's eyes were severely swollen and Rua's shorts were covered in the blood of both opponents.
In the end, Henderson was declared the unanimous victor of a match that even impressed UFC President Dana White, who has seen more than a few mixed martial arts bouts in his day.
“That's without a doubt one of the top three best fights ever in MMA,” White said. “I have so much respect for both of those guys to dig down that deep in a five-round fight. That was like our Ali-Frazier III. It was incredible.”
All three judges scored the bout 48-47 in favor of Henderson, who was so beat up afterward that he could not make it to the news conference.
“That guy can take a punch,” Henderson said, speaking from the middle of the ring before being taken to a local hospital in San Jose for treatment. “I hit him hard and I thought I could finish him the first two or three rounds but he finished strong.”
Henderson (29-8) controlled the first three rounds of the fight, but Rua (20-6) made a furious comeback during the final 10 minutes.
It was Henderson's first UFC fight since 2009. The 41-year-old is now in line for a possible title shot against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
In Saturday's co-main event, Wanderlei Silva knocked out former Strikeforce champion Cung Le at 4:49 of the second round of their middleweight fight.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Dan Henderson, left, punches Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Henderson won by unanimous decision. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press