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UFC 93 Recap: Following split decision win over Franklin at UFC 93, Henderson earns another chance to represent the U.S.

Dan Henderson is no stranger to representing the U.S. having competed on its Greco Roman Olympic teams during the summer games of 1992 and 1996.

Thanks to the former PRIDE middleweight and welterweight champion’s three-round split decision victory over Rich Franklin on Saturday night at UFC 93, Henderson will once again represent the U.S. as a head coach on The Ultimate Fighter reality television show.

Henderson will lead a team of eight Americans against a team comprised of eight fighters from the United Kingdom. The UK team will be coached by Michael Bisping with both fighters expected to fight each other soon after the show has finished airing. Bout agreements for a Henderson vs. Bisping matchup have yet to be signed but the fight could be scheduled for July.

Henderson moved into the coaching slot by using his wrestling background to take Franklin out of his striking element and getting him to the mat. The 38-year old spent the majority of the first round on top of Franklin and won the round in decisive fashion thanks to a good display of ground and pound.

While Franklin fared better in the second round, Henderson still managed to get the fight to the floor for a good portion of the round. Franklin, a former UFC middleweight champion, delivered several nice kicks to the body of Henderson while the two were standing but was unable to dole out a sustained amount of punishment.

Soon after the start of the third round, Henderson once again found himself in top position on the ground and inside of Franklin’s guard. Despite causing very little damage, Henderson still managed to eat up clock and limited Franklin’s window to rally.

When the fighters eventually returned to the standup position, Franklin displayed a sense of urgency and attempted to rally from behind and avoid a decision loss by trying to finish Henderson. However, Henderson hung on for the victory, earning scores of 29-28 from two judges with Franklin surprisingly garnering a 30-27 score from the third judge.

While Franklin had trouble sustaining momentum during the fight, he fought well in spite of being the victim of accidental fouls on two separate occasions. The Ohio native suffered multiple lacerations to the top of his forehead following an incidental head butt. Then, in the third round, the fight was stopped for several minutes after Franklin was the recipient of an accident eye poke.

In addition to Henderson winning, former PRIDE superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua recorded his first victory in the UFC with a third round TKO over UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman.

Rua was fighting for the first time in nearly a year and a half due to recovery from knee surgery while the two were also fighting each other for the first time in nearly three years. In their first meeting at PRIDE 31, Coleman was declared the winner via TKO just 49 seconds into the fight after Rua landed awkwardly on a takedown and suffered a dislocated elbow.

Following Rua’s victory, sources revealed to that it was determined that his next fight will take place against Chuck Liddell at UFC 97 during a yet-to-be announced card tentatively scheduled for April 18 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

The show’s pay-per-view telecast also saw Rousimar Palhares defeat Jeremy Horn via unanimous decision; Alan Belcher upset former PRIDE star Denis Kang with a guillotine choke submission at 4:36 of round 2; and Marcus Davis beat Chris Lytle via split decision.

The event’s non-televised undercard featured Martin Kampmann’s successful debut at welterweight following a second round TKO over newcomer Alexandre Barros. Other preliminary bouts saw John Hathaway successfully represent England over Ireland with a first round TKO over Tom Egan; German wrestling standout Dennis Siver using a spinning back kick to help TKO the returning Nate Mohr in round 3; Eric Schafer recording his second consecutive UFC victory with a first round TKO over Brazilian Antonio Mendes; and Tomasz Drwal TKO’ing Italian boxer Ivan Serati at 2:02 of round 1.

  • CaptainAmerica1967 says:

    Coleman should hang up his gloves at his age, and Dana should kick Rua out of the UFC for his for performance just like Dana did with Werdum. Shogun should go to Afflication or something beneath to build up his skills.

  • KTru says:

    Cap….. Just shut up. You have nothing to bring.

  • persian_prince says:

    A lot of former pride fighters who were once aggressive, vicious and cardio machines, now look tame and mediocre. I wonder if it has anything to do with the mandatory drug “steroid” testing in the ufc ; )

  • mark says:

    im sure u lads didnt read the quesion right,sort it out.

  • Mike A says:

    the drugs are def at play

  • Nir says:

    the result of the Franklin-Hendo fight is unbelievable! I think Franklin had a bad gameplan and didn’t do much except the body kick to take Henderson out of his comfort zone. he’s gotta work on his wrestling because it’s holding him back (think Travis Lutter and Matt Hamill taking him down pretty easily)
    with that said, I can’t understand how those judges could give the fight to the boring lay-n-pray wrestler who controlled Franklin for less than half the fight. every time he was taken down, Franklin got up with minimal damage, and when he was up, it wasn’t even close: he dominated Henderson in the standup.
    Judges in MMA shouldn’t reward boring, useless fighting that won’t get a finish. nothing again Henderson, he is smart and had a good game plan, I am very disappointed with the judges.
    at least rich can contend in light heavyweight instead of wasting his time fighting an unworthy Bisping. I hope he gets the loser of Machida-T. Silva or maybe a fight against Wanderlei Silva.

  • JJ Docker says:

    What was the third judge in the Franklin – Hendo bout smoking.. I want some.

  • KTru says:

    Sorry Cap with my previous response. It was a knee-jerk reaction to a less than stellar PPV,plus jager bombs all day that created such hostility. Rua v Chuck should make for instant classic…..or maybe not

  • mike wolfe says:

    Henderson won the first round, Franklin won the third, and the second was a coin toss. Henderson got the decision, and I can see how it went his way, but he didn’t really win the fight. The only damage came from Henderson’s inadvertant head butt and eye poke. It was an indecisive outcome, and I wish they could’ve gone several more rounds.

    As to the entire evening, I bought the ppv, enjoyed it, and have no regrets. But at the end of the show it felt like a combination of the junior varsity and the senior tour. It won’t compare well to GSP vs. BJ.

  • neijia says:

    ” I wish they could’ve gone several more rounds.”
    yeah why can’t that be the rule on such a close match?

  • king mah mah says:

    The judges should be more willing to score fights a draw. Then they could add overtime rounds to decide.

  • Tyler says:

    This isn’t the pre Zuffa UFC days.
    If the athletic commissions sanction a fight for three 5 minutes rounds that’s all your going to see it doesn’t matter if it ends in a draw or not.
    There won’t be any overtime.

  • EamonJGod says:

    Overtime is a bad idea. It won’t make decisive victories if the fighters have been fighting for 15 minutes already and haven’t gotten the edge.

    As for the third judge issue, anyone know if that was Cecil Peoples? He does that all the time, terrible judge, he must be somebodies nephew.

  • Sp3aker says:

    i still cannot see how henderson was given the decision.

    henderson is a world class wrestler yet whenever he got franklin down he got no damage, and didn’t even attempt a submission.

    on their feet franklin dominated and you felt that there was the possibility of there being a finish up until the eye poke.

    bad decision.


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