UFC 139 took place from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.  The event featured a battle of two of the most dangerous light heavyweight fighters in the sport, as former UFC and Pride champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua met former Pride and Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson.

Henderson takes decision over Rua in legendary battle

In a fight that very well could’ve happened in the Pride promotion, MMA legends Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua engaged in one of the most epic fights in the history of the sport.  Battling back-and-forth throughout, the fighters showed why they have been champions in multiple organizations.

Henderson did the majority of his damage during the first three rounds.  His heavy right hand dropped the Brazilian multiple times.  Rua’s face was battered and bloodied at the end of the third frame, a round in which Henderson nearly finished the fight.

The final two rounds saw Rua rally and fire back against the exhausted American.  Henderson was rocked late in the fourth round and it carried over into the fifth.  Rua scored a quick takedown in the final round and moved effortlessly to mount.  From there he unloaded for the remainder of the round, but could not score the decisive blow.

In the end, the judges awarded the contest to Henderson.  “That guy can take an effing punch,” an exhausted Henderson declared while talking to Joe Rogan.  The fight earned each fighter a $70,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night.”

Silva scores KO over Le

In a performance that brought back memories of his days in the Pride organization, middleweight Wanderleri Silva scored a knockout win over former Strikeforce champ Cung Le.

Le delivered an early barrage of spinning kicks and unorthodox strikes that culminated with a spinning back fist that hurt Silva.  However, Silva recovered and methodically found his timing and range.

The second round saw the Brazilian pour it on.  Scoring with a flurry of hooks, Silva hurt Le and followed with knees from the clinch.  Le crashed to the canvas and Silva rained down punches until the referee intervened.

A thrilled crowd roared loudly as Silva celebrated on top of the Octagon.  The fight also earned a $70,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night.”

Faber chokes out Bowles

Bantamweights Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles locked horns to determine the next challenger for Dominick Cruz’s belt.

The two former champions battled on the feet for the majority of the first round until Faber took the fight to the ground and finished in the top position.

In the second round, Faber connected with an uppercut that sent Bowles reeling.  Faber snatched the neck of Bowles and locked in a fight-ending guillotine choke.

Not only did Faber earn a shot at the title, he took home the “Submission of the Night” honor as well.

Kampmann outworks Story

Danish welterweight Martin Kampmann bounced back from two tough decision losses to defeat Rick Story.

The opening round saw Story push the pace and land a number of hooks to the body of Kampmann.  Both fighters obtained cuts in the round.

In the final two rounds, Kampmann found his rhythm and scored on the scorecards by securing takedowns in each round.  Story desperately tried to finish in the final frame, but it wasn’t enough.

Bonnar uses ground game to dominate Kingsbury

The Ultimate Fighter season one finalist Stephan Bonnar showed off his experience and grappling advantage in taking a decision over fellow TUF alum Kyle Kingsbury in their light heavyweight bout.

Bonnar dominated the fight throughout, putting Kingsbury on his back over and over again.  Bonnar worked for a variety of submissions, but Kingsbury was able to defend and last the entirety of the bout.

Undercard Summary

Ryan Bader ended a two-fight skid by knocking out Jason Brilz with a straight right hand in the first round of their light heavyweight bout.

Michael McDonald earned the “Knockout of the Night” award by dispatching of promotional newcomer Alex Soto in under a minute.

Wrestling specialist Chris Weidman showed off his strong submission skills by choking Tom Lawlor unconscious.

Brazilian lightweights Gleison Tibau and Rafael Dos Anjos battled back-and-forth, with Tibau taking home a decision win.

Former bantamweight champ Miguel Torres dominated Nick Pace from the opening bell en route to a decision victory.

TUF alum Seth Baczynski remained undefeated since dropping to welterweight by defeating Matt Brown via second-round guillotine choke.

WEC veteran Danny Castillo punished TUF Season 13 fighter Shamar Bailey for missing weight by scoring a TKO win.


Main Card

Dan Henderson def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Wanderlei Silva def. Cung Le by knockout (strikes). Round 2, 4:49

Urijah Faber def. Brian Bowles by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 1:27

Martin Kampmann def. Rick Story by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Stephan Bonnar def. Kyle Kingsbury by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)

Preliminary Card

Ryan Bader def. Jason Brilz by knockout (punch). Round 1, 1:17

Michael McDonald def. Alex Soto by knockout (punches). Round 1, 0:56

Chris Weidman def. Tom Lawlor by technical submission (D’arce choke). Round 1, 2:07

Gleison Tibau def. Rafael dos Anjos by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Miguel Torres def. Nick Pace by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Seth Baczynski def. Matt Brown by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 0:42

Danny Castillo def. Shamar Bailey by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:52

Photo: Dan Henderson (Sherdog)