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Posted on September 20, 2011 by Jack Thurman
Under pressure to beef up another less than impressive fight card, the UFC has added a compelling matchup between Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Dan Henderson to the UFC 139 event in San Jose, California. The previous main event was a groaner between Cung Le and Vitor Belfort that will be relegated to ‘co main event’ status. San Jose was the home base of the recently acquired Strikeforce promotion.
‘Shogun’ is coming off of an easy victory over past his prime fan favorite Forrest Griffin. Rua had little trouble with Griffin and ended the fight via knockout in under two minutes of the first round. Rua has had his ups and downs since coming to the UFC and this victory allowed him to avenge an ugly loss in his debut with the United States’ top MMA promotion. Griffin had beaten Rua by rear naked choke at UFC 176 in 2007. Rua was able to come back from that loss and eventually capture the UFC light heavyweight championship before losing that to the division’s current kingpin, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.
Henderson is coming off a victory over heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko. This was Henderson’s sixth win in his last seven fights with the only loss coming via decision to Jake Shields. The hope had been that Henderson would be able to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a rematch, but Silva’s annual ‘injury layoff’ squashed those plans. Henderson had hoped to unify the Strikeforce and UFC middleweight titles but that won’t happen until Silva returns to action after his ‘injury’, presumably early next year.
The UFC betting odds on the fight opened with Rua a -160 favorite with takeback on Henderson priced at +140. ’Sharp’ players quickly jumped on the underrated Henderson and the current line at 5 Dimes Sports Book offshore is both men at -120.
UFC 139 will take place on November 11, 2011 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose and will be available on PPV in the United States. The fight between Rua and Henderson will be a five round non-title fight. With the exception of the aforementioned Le/Belfort fight the rest of the card is uninspired to say the least. The nominal ‘highlight’ is a matchup between NorCal favorite Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles.