Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua faces off against Dan Henderson this weekend in the main event of UFC 139. Though both fighters have added plenty of clips to their highlight reels since, they each made their bones in the Pride Fighting Championships, acting as two of the promotion’s best fighters during its heyday.
For one reason or another though, the two seasoned competitors never met in the ring, despite their proximity in ranking and weight. That wrong will be rectified this weekend though, when Rua and Hendo do battle in San Jose, finally making good on a bout that hardcore fans have long been clamoring for.
“I really respect Dan as a fighter, he’s someone I admire very much. He’s been at the top of his game for a long time and I enjoy watching him fight,” said Shogun. “This fight was supposed to happen a long time ago, back in the Pride days. We always thought we would end up fighting each other and it never happened. I think this is the right time now for this to happen. I am very honored and happy to fight Dan. He is a great fighter and this is going to be a great fight for the fans.”
The 20-5 Rua recently rebounded from a title-relinquishing defeat to current champ Jon Jones by flooring former champion Forrest Griffin over the summer at UFC 134; a win over Hendo, the linear Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, gets him that much closer to reclaiming his title.
UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson goes down this Saturday, November 19, from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.