Pros Pick: Shogun vs. Hendo

By Mike Sloan Nov 17, 2011
Dan Henderson will be back in the Octagon for the first time since UFC 100. | Photo:

For the fourth weekend in a row, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be on active duty, as UFC 139 “Shogun vs. Hendo” hits the HP Pavilion on Saturday in San Jose, Calif. In the main event, 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner and onetime UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua collides with former two-division Pride titleholder Dan Henderson.

How the battle will unfold remains anyone’s guess. caught up with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 139 headliner:

Wanderlei Silva: Shogun by submission.

Nam Phan: I say “Hendo” by overhand right to the dome.

Jason Dent: I have to go with Hendo defeating Shogun. Henderson was my coach on Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and, much like Randy Couture, he seems to get better with age (laughs). Henderson has the heavier hands and better wrestling by far. I’m a fan of Shogun, as well, but I just don’t like this matchup for him. I say Hendo by knockout or technical knockout at some point in round two.

Marcus Vinicius Di Lucia: Hendo is a very dangerous man accustomed to fight with Brazilians. Shogun is a great talent, who, on a good day and in good shape, has everything to win the fight.

Mike Ciesnolevicz: I love the Henderson vs. Shogun fight. This fight is an MMA fan’s dream matchup. These guys both bring the fight to their opponents and have the ability to knock out anyone on a given day. I don’t believe either guy will be looking for the takedown. Henderson is going to eventually land the H-Bomb and stop Shogun like he has against so many other top fighters. Hendo probably has the most lethal right hand in MMA. I think I would rather go swimming in shark-infested waters with steaks tied to my body than get hit with Henderson’s overhand right. It’s gonna be a bad night for Shogun.

Eduardo Dantas: I’m a fan of Shogun. He will show everyone why was considered the best in the world in his weight division. If Shogun is in shape, he wins by knockout.

Jason Lambert: Henderson by KO.

Erik Paulson: I believe that Henderson is highly unstoppable at the moment. Rolling off his spectacular win over Fedor [Emelianenko], he has momentum. I believe that this is going to be a hard fight for Rua. I feel as though he’s really fighting uphill. Still gonna watch this event in another state with friends plus a big bowl of popcorn.

Ronys Torres: I strongly believe in Shogun. He wins this fight by judges’ decision.

Kyle Kingsbury: Rua by TKO, round four.

Travis Wiuff: I always take the wrestler when it comes to fights where styles clash like they do in this one. Shogun is no joke, though, and has fought the best there is, but I don’t think Henderson is finished yet. He adds another incredible win to his already incredible resume by TKO late in the fight.

Travis Lutter: Henderson vs. Rua should be a fun fight to watch. I think Henderson’s power and wrestling will be the deciding factor in this fight; taking Dan down will be tough. I am going with Dan in this one.

Josh Thomson: Hendo by brutal KO.

Bebeo Duarte: I think Shogun will have one of the toughest fights of his career. Dan is very experienced and has a lot of “cage” trickery. Shogun, as we know, was not training at the same place he trained to fight [Forrest] Griffin [at UFC 134]. I hope that we no longer see a presentation like he made against Jon Jones.

Eddie Millis: What a great matchup. Once again, this one’s gonna come down to striking: Hendo’s right hand or Rua’s combos. As I [say] this, I have a change in my initial pick. I have Hendo by KO. He’s won the last three and has momentum, and I believe he will win this one big.

Shonie Carter: I am gonna go with Shogun on this one by second-round by head kick.

Rafael Cordeiro: Henderson is a great fighter, but Shogun is very talented and I bet on his victory.

Mike Constantino: I am going with Hendo. I think Dan is going to close the distance and put him up against the fence and dirty box and control him throughout the fight by mixing in takedowns along with his hard right. I have Henderson by decision.

Benji Radach: There is going to be a big Henderson right hand. I think I can feel the rumblings already.

Cristiano Marcello: Shogun is a more well-rounded athlete. If he’s alert and well-conditioned, he will win by knockout or submission.

Michael Guymon: Without a doubt, Shogun is the better striker of the two, but he will have to respect Henderson’s power, which will open up the wrestling game for him. Dan will wear Shogun down with vicious positioning and ground-and-pound. Decision Dan is back.

Antonio Silva: I think Shogun is much more complete. Every athlete who won against Fedor lost right away (laughs), so Shogun wins.

Joe Duarte: Even though Hendo is older, he still has the ability to scrap like he’s 30. Shogun is very dynamic, and, if he can land his leg kicks, he can pull this one off. I don’t see Hendo keeping this one standing, and his wrestling is going to allow him to take Shogun down. I’m going with Hendo by decision.

Keith Berry: Hendo is seriously a freak of nature. I see him doing the same thing he did to Fedor but maybe in round two. He’s a beast in the gym and he’s a beast in the cage. I’m saying Hendo by second-round KO.

Ricardo Tirloni: I believe in a victory for Shogun.

Gabe Ruediger: OK, I picked wrong on Dan vs. Fedor, so this one is hard for me. Styles make fights, and this one can go any number of ways. Even though I shouldn’t pick against Dan, something is telling me Shogun [wins].

Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante: I think that Shogun wins by knockout.

Javier Vazquez: I’m tired of picking against Hendo. Rua has all the skills to beat Hendo, but I just think that Hendo will once again pull it off, probably by TKO in the second round.

Roli Delgado: Henderson -- I hate picking against Shogun, but that right hand finds its home. The fight is going to be exciting.

Andre Amado: I think that Shogun wins this fight.

Pros Picking Henderson: 16
Pros Picking Rua: 12
No Pick: 2

You can also contact Mike Sloan at Brian Knapp and Gleidson Venga contributed to this report.


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