Wanderlei Silva was in vintage form at UFC 139. | (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
This is what Dana White must have had in mind when he announced in June that all UFC main events would go five rounds.
In a bout that will likely go down as an instant classic, former Pride Fighting Championships veterans Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua gave everything they had for 25 grueling minutes inside the Octagon. At the end of the night, it was Henderson whose hand was raised, taking all three judges’ scorecards by identical 48-47 counts.
Only time will tell where the confrontation ranks among the UFC’s greatest fights. For now, it’s best to let the raw numbers do the talking. A by-the-numbers look at UFC 139, with statistics provided by FightMetric.com:
96: Significant strikes landed by Rua over the course of his 25 minutes with Henderson, topping his previous career best against Lyoto Machida at UFC 104 by 16.
106: Jabs landed by Rua, who landed 89 more strikes than did Henderson to the head of his opponent. “Shogun” connected on 53 of 55 jabs in the final five minutes, when he controlled Henderson from the mount.
0: Significant strikes landed by Henderson in the fifth round. The visibly exhausted Greco-Roman specialist spent much of the frame surviving Rua’s assault while on his back. Rua pounded Henderson with 26 significant strikes in the final period.
.550: Significant striking accuracy over the duration of the bout by Henderson, which was ahead of his career rate of 49 percent. That number fell to 38 percent over the final two rounds, however.
.737: Henderson’s winning percentage in bouts that go to the judges. The Californian has fought to a decision 19 times in his MMA career. Saturday was his first triumph in a five-round contest, having fallen in previous efforts against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 75 and Jake Shields at Strikeforce “Nashville.”
0-2: Rua’s record in fights that go five rounds. “Shogun” dropped a controversial unanimous decision to Machida at UFC 104. The Brazilian has never gone the distance in a three-round fight.
10:22: Minutes and seconds longer Henderson’s battle with Rua lasted than the Team Quest product’s average fight length. Henderson’s average bout time of 14 minutes, 38 seconds coming into UFC 139 ranks sixth all time in the organization.
5: Takedowns completed by Rua. Meanwhile, Henderson, who is known for his wrestling background, finished with only one. The five takedowns were Rua’s most since his UFC 76 loss to Forrest Griffin.
1,247: Days between Wanderlei Silva’s last knockout, a first-round KO of Keith Jardine at UFC 84, and his second round stoppage of Cung Le on Saturday. Twenty four of “The Axe Murderer’s” 34 career victories have come via knockout or technical knockout.
3: Fight of the Night Awards earned by Silva in his UFC career. The Brazilian is 1-2 in those contests.
59: Combined Pride Fighting Championships appearances among Henderson, Rua and Silva. All three, along with Le, shared in “Fight of the Night” honors on Saturday.
6: Guillotine choke victories in the career of Urijah Faber. The Team Alpha Male product tapped Brian Bowles with the hold at 1:27 of round two, handing the Georgia resident the first submission loss of his career.
19: Percentage of successful power strikes from Bowles against Faber. Meanwhile, “The California Kid” connected on 59 percent of his significant strikes.
20: Submission attempts in the UFC career of Martin Kampmann. The Dane’s rear-naked choke late in the final round of his welterweight scrap with Rick Story moved him into a tie with Cole Miller and Joe Lauzon for sixth on the promotion’s all-time list in that area.
23: Power strikes by which Story outlanded Kampmann. Ironically, Kampmann landed 26 more significant punches than Diego Sanchez in his controversial loss to the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts product in March.
95: Total strikes by which Stephan Bonnar outlanded Kyle Kingsbury in their light heavyweight tussle. “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finalist controlled the majority of the bout with his grappling skills, expertly changing positions on the ground while peppering his opponent with short punches and elbows.
15: Difference in strikes landed by Kingsbury in the first round (23) than in the second and third rounds combined (8).
97: Seconds of cage time for Elite Performance representative Jason Brilz in consecutive knockout losses. Ryan Bader finished “The Hitman” on Saturday at 1:17 of round one; Vladimir Matyushenko needed just 20 seconds to get the job done against him at UFC 129.
1: Strike landed by Brilz against Bader in their light-heavyweight struggle. Bader entered the night with a significant striking defense rate of 75.6 percent, good for second best among UFC fighters with a minimum five UFC fights and 350 attempted strikes by opponents.
20: Percentage of Miguel Torres’ 40 wins that have come via decision. The former WEC bantamweight champion took all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards in his catch-weight bout with Nick Pace.
15: Finishes in 15 career victories for Seth Baczynski after “The Polish Pistola” used a guillotine choke to defeat Matt Brown on Saturday night. It was the 10th submission win of his career and second straight in the UFC.