In a sport where the term legend is used liberally, two true legends of MMA squared off on Saturday night in a rematch dating back to 2006. On one side, Vitor Belfort has seen a career resurgence as of late winning his last six of eight fights with most wins coming by devastating knockout. On the other side, Dan Henderson has knocked out the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva and Murilo Bustamante. With two battle-tested warriors stepping into the cage with much more on the line than their first encounter, many believed the fight could only end in a knockout. That theory proved to hold true.
As the fight began both fighters cautiously circled each other looking for any opportunity to land the first power punch. Henderson rushed in first with a combination that was met with lighting fast counter punches. In the flurry Belfort landed a short left hook to the chin of Henderson which dropped the former PRIDE and StrikeForce champion. Belfort followed up with a barrage of punches as Henderson tried to work back to his feet. Just as Henderson was able to make his way to a standing position Belfort unleashed a high kick which landed cleanly to the face sending Henderson back to the canvas. Belfort rushed in for the kill, but referee Dan Mirgliotta had already made the decision to step in and stop the fight. The end of the fight came at just 1:15 into the first round and with it Henderson’s first ever loss by knockout.
The label of “Legend” held true for both warriors on Saturday night as each came in with the intention of cementing their legacy with a knockout finish. Congratulations to both fighters for coming in and putting it all on the line.