Henderson Rises from Depths of Despair; Marguez to take on Alvarado

henderson vs rua

Dan Henderson Weathers ‘Shogun’ Rua, Delivers Smashing Stoppage at UFC Fight Night 39

By Brian Knapp www.sherdog.com

It was vintage Dan Henderson on display at UFC Fight Night 39.

Dan Henderson still has plenty of TNT left in his fabled right hand.

Henderson dispatched Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with a sweeping right hook to the nose and subsequent ground strikes in the UFC Fight Night 39 headliner on Sunday at Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil. The end came 91 seconds into the third round, as Henderson (30-11, 7-5 UFC) became the first man to defeat “Shogun” twice.

Rua (22-9, 6-7 UFC) masked his power punches with a stiff jab and stout leg kicks, as he had the former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder reeling and on the verge of being stopped late in the first round. Henderson somehow withstood the onslaught, as Rua pierced his defenses with a right hook-left hook combination and some vicious ground-and-pound.

“Shogun” floored the two-time Olympian with a right uppercut in round two but failed to capitalize, settling in Henderson’s guard before a referee restart. The two clinched to start the third frame. On the break, Henderson’s right hand swept across the Brazilian’s face sending him careening backward. The stoppage followed soon after, with the dazed and disfigured Rua eating further punishment and clinging to Henderson’s leg in desperation.

“This [win] probably means more than most. ‘Shogun’ has been such a big part of mixed martial arts,” said Henderson, who earned a controversial unanimous decision over the Brazilian at UFC 139 in November 2011. “I’m such a big fan of ‘Shogun’ and how he represents the sport.”

Dollaway Blasts Ferreira in 39 Seconds

Dollaway put a stop to Ferreira’s hype.In the middleweight co-main event, Power MMA Team’s C.B. Dollaway wiped out “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 winner Cezar Ferreira with a two-punch combination and follow-up ground strikes. Dollaway (14-5, 8-5 UFC) needed just 39 seconds to take care of business.

Ferreira (7-3, 3-1 UFC) fell prey to his own aggression. Dollaway lured him into a close-quarters firefight, floored him with a short left hook-right hook combo and finished it with a volley of unanswered blows on the ground.

The 30-year-old has recorded three wins in his last four appearances, a disputed split decision loss to Tim Boetsch the lone hiccup.

Point Deduction Costs Parke, Results in Majority Draw

Parke and Santos ended in a majority draw.Undercut by a second-round point deduction, “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” winner Norman Parke settled for a majority draw with Nova Uniao’s Leonardo Santos in a lightweight showcase. Two of the three judges scored it 28-28; a third cast a 29-27 scorecard in favor of Santos.

Santos (12-3-1, 1-0-1 UFC) kept the Irishman at bay in the first round, where he leaned on body kicks, leg kicks and counterpunches. Parke (19-2-1, 3-0-1 UFC) closed the distance over the final 10 minutes, neutralizing “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 2 winner in the clinch with standing elbows and right uppercuts.

However, he was docked a point in round two for grabbing Santos’ shorts during an attempted takedown, costing him the victory.

The draw snapped Parke’s streak of nine straight wins.

Maldonado Wins Third Straight

Maldonado outboxed and outpointed Villante.Fabiano Maldonado utilized his educated hands and a superior gas tank in capturing a unanimous decision over former Ring of Combat champion Gian Villante in a featured light heavyweight battle. All three judges scored it for Maldonado (21-6, 4-3 UFC): 29-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Villante (11-5, 1-2 UFC) neutralized the Brazilian boxer with takedowns and ground-and-pound in the first round and opened a cut with a knee strike from the clinch in the second. From there, Maldonado found another gear.

Jabs, crippling body shots and accurate multi-punch combinations robbed Villante of much-needed energy and reduced him to target-practice fodder. By the conclusion of round three, with Maldonado nearing a finish, Villante could barely stand under his own power. Maldonado, 34, has rattled off three consecutive victories.

Injury Replacement Prazeres Dominates Taisumov

Prazeres dominated and frustrated Taisumov.Takedowns, ground-and-pound and superb topside grappling Michel Richard Cunha dos Prazeres to a lopsided unanimous decision over Tiger Muay Thai’s Mairbek Taisumov in a lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-25 for Prazeres (18-1, 2-1 UFC), who replaced the injured Gleison Tibau.

Taisumov (21-5, 1-1 UFC) was docked two points by referee Mario Yamasaki, who eventually threatened him with disqualification for repeatedly grabbing the fence to avoid takedowns.

Prazeres did his best work in the first round, where he grounded the M-1 Global veteran with ease and moved to full mount on three different occasions. The 30-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt sat down Taisumov with a straight right in the second and advanced to full mount again in the third.

Bezerra Stops Siler in 77 Seconds

Bezerra butchered Siler on the feet.“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 winner Rony Mariano Bezerra took care of Steven Siler with an overhand right and follow-up left hook in the first round of their featured featherweight scrap. Bezerra (14-4, 4-1 UFC) polished off his ninth victory in 10 outings 1:17 into round one.

Siler (23-12, 5-3 UFC) enjoyed early success with leg kicks, but the Brazilian’s punching power proved to be the difference. An overhand right set the American on unsteady legs and a subsequent left hook floored him, leading to referee Wernei Cardoso’s intervention despite the fact that Siler was in a defensive position preparing to throw upkicks.

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juan ma

Juan Manuel Marquez to fight May 17  

By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

 

When Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez was an unknown fighter on the way up in the 1990s — long before he would go on to win world titles in four divisions, establish himself as a future Hall of Famer and engage in a historical four-fight series with Manny Pacquiao — he was a regular on cards at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., once a boxing hotbed.   Now, after years of dormancy, the Forum is getting back into boxing and Marquez, one of its favorite sons, will headline the first card at the newly refurbished building when he takes on former junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado in a welterweight world title elimination bout on May 17 on HBO, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Thursday.

Both fighters have agreed to terms, Arum said, and the winner of the bout, to be contested at a maximum contract weight of 143 pounds, will earn a mandatory shot at the winner of the April 12 rematch between Pacquiao and titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr.

“Besides the fact that this is a tremendous fight between two exciting fighters, the thing I like most about it is the historical significance,” Arum said. “They spent a lot of money refurbishing the Forum and it brings back memories of all the great fights that took place there, like when Muhammad Ali fought Ken Norton there [in their 1973 rematch, which Arum promoted]. Marquez is a guy who earned his bones there. The Forum is where he established himself and this is going to be a great homecoming for him.

“I’ve been in this business for so long and, to me, the history is important. I’m really thrilled for my company to be re-opening the new Forum for boxing.”   In 1995, in the 10th fight of his career, Marquez began fighting regularly at the Forum for the now-defunct Forum Boxing promotional company. It was there where he built his reputation and went from unknown prospect to big-time contender. The 40-year-old Marquez fought there 12 times in all.

“I think this fight has a lot of story lines,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said. “It’s at the Forum and it will be raucous, and we know Marquez’s history there. And, obviously, when the bell rings it’ll be a hellacious fight where neither guy will back up.”   Marquez and Alvarado, 33, are both coming off defeats, which adds to their urgency to win this fight.

On Oct. 12 in Las Vegas, Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) lost a split decision challenging Bradley for his title, one fight after Marquez scored a massive one-punch knockout of Pacquiao in their fourth battle. One week after Marquez lost to Bradley, on Oct. 19, Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) lost his 140-pound world title in front of his home crowd in Denver when Ruslan Provodnikov stopped him in the 10th round of a bruising battle.

“Mike is so excited. We have been training already for three weeks. Marquez has always been on our radar and he is the one we always wanted to fight,” said Henry Delgado, Alvarado’s manager. “This fight is our redemption to all of our fans. Mike knows how important this fight is. We plan to relocate our training to Los Angeles this weekend. What a fight with such a reward — to fight the winner of Pacquiao versus Bradley.

“This is really an incredible opportunity. We will be fully prepared to fight Marquez on May 17.”   Said Moretti, “I think you’ll see a more motivated and focused Mike Alvarado. He knows he has to perform well in this fight after the loss at home and it’s also a very dangerous fight for Marquez.”

Although Marquez had said that he was not interested in a fifth fight with Pacquiao, Arum said he changed his mind and would fight him again as long as Pacquiao defeats Bradley next month. The reason is because it would mean an opportunity to win a world title in a fifth weight class — no other Mexican boxer has done that — and he has said that is important to him. And if Bradley beats Pacquiao, it would mean a rematch for Marquez and a chance to not only win the belt but also to avenge a loss.

“Marquez wants to win that title and that’s an incentive for taking this fight with Alvarado, because he knows he will get that opportunity if he wins,” Arum said. “So if it’s Pacquiao, he said he would fight him again, and if Bradley wins, well he wants that fight too. And if Mike wins, he certainly will be a good opponent to fight Bradley or Pacquiao, whoever wins.”

 

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