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UFC Fight Night 38

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Event: UFC Fight Night 38
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Venue: Ginásio Nélio Dias
City:Natal, Brazil

Light Heavyweight Bout - Mauricio Rua (22-8) vs. Dan Henderson (29-11)

Sportsbook.ag Line: Rua -240, Henderson +195

Two of the best fighters in the history of the sport of MMA clash again on Sunday night as Mauricio Rua takes on Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 39 in Brazil.

These two fighters last squared off at UFC 139 on November 19, 2011, with Henderson winning by way of unanimous decision in what was considered one of the best fights of all-time. That was the first of three losses in a four-fight stretch for Rua, but he got back on the winning track in his last fight on Dec. 6, defeating James Te Huna with a vicious punch just 1:03 into the first round. Rua is beloved in the sport because of his ruthlessness and excitement he brings to every fight. He has gone up against some of the best fighters in the history of the UFC, such as Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones, and on Saturday he faces another fighter who is beloved by the fans.

At 43-years-old, Henderson’s best days are behind him, as he is currently on a three-fight losing skid, but has been very competitive with two of those defeats coming by way of split decision. He has gone toe-to-toe with 10 current or former UFC champions such as Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and most recently, Vitor Belfort. However, that last fight against Belfort showed that Henderson may be losing a bit as he was knocked out in the first round.

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Henderson has always been in terrific shape, as 14 of his 29 career victories have been by way of decision. He uses a ground-and-pound style of fighting to wear his opponents out. However, Henderson also packs a powerful punch with 13 wins by knockout, and has only been knocked out once (by Renzo Gracie). "Hendo" also has two wins by submission, with the most recent submission victory occurring back in 1999. The 6-foot-1 Henderson, who fights out of Temecula, CA, has a 6-5 record in UFC events. For him to win this match, he is going to need to take advantage of his wrestling.

Henderson has a takedown accuracy percentage of 56%, while Rua is successful on only 48% of his takedown attempts. Henderson also is very good at defending the takedown, entering this fight with a takedown defense of 61% (Rua 43%). Henderson is a very good striker as well, but he will need to be careful in this fight, as he is going up against an opponent that is very successful when it comes to knocking his opponent out.

"Shogun" Rua has 22 career victories, with 19 of them ending in knockout fashion. His past seven wins have come in this fashion, and his ability to land the devastating punch will be his biggest advantage in this fight. He also has one submission win and two decision victories in his career that includes being the only fighter to score consecutive knockout wins over UFC Hall of Famers (Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman in 2009).

Rua averages 3.58 significant strikes landed per minute compared to just 2.46 by Henderson. He is very quick with his strikes, but also has a lot of power in his punches. Henderson has very strong punching ability, but this is where Rua can win the match. He can’t afford to let this fight go to the ground, because if it does, Henderson will be very difficult to beat. Not only does the 32-year-old Rua have the advantage of being 11 years younger than his opponents, but he is also fighting this on his home Brazilian soil.

UFC Fight Night 38 - Other Bouts

Featherweight Bout:
Noad Lahat -300
Godofredo Castro +235

Light Heavyweight Bout:
Hans Stringer -120
Francimar Barroso -110

Welterweight Bout:
Kenny Robertson -120
Thiago Perpetuo -110

Flyweight Bout:
Scott Jorgensen -195
Jussier Formiga +160

Middleweight Bout:
Ronny Markes -800
Thiago Santos +550

Featherweight Bout:
Diego Brandao -475
Will Chope +350

Featherweight Bout:
Rony Jason -170
Steven Siler +140

Lightweight Bout:
Mairbek Taisumov -270
Michel Prazeres +212

Light Heavyweight Bout:
Gian Villante -125
Fabio Maldonado -105

Middleweight Bout:
Cezar Ferreira -200
CB Dollaway +165

Lightweight Bout:
Norman Parke -210
Leonardo Santos +170

  
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