Dan Henderson vs Shogun Rua II set for March 23

(L-R) Light Heavyweight opponents Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua and Dan Henderson face off
Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua is officially getting a rematch.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


The Nov. 2011 matchup between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is considered one of the best fights of all-time. The rolling five-round classic was packed full of danger and intrigue, and the result itself was riveting and controversial. And now it will spawn a rematch.

The two legends have been paired off as the headlining act for a March 23 show in Natal, Brazil, UFC president Dana White confirmed to FOX Sports on Tuesday afternoon. The bout’s possibility was first reported by Brazil’s Tatame.

The March 23 date marks a rare Sunday event for the promotion.

Henderson had finished out his contract after his last fight and in order to take the rematch, had to finalize a new deal. He had lost three consecutive fights, with split-decisions to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans leading into his first-ever knockout loss at the hands (and feet) of Vitor Belfort.

The 43-year-old is 29-11.

Rua (22-8) went through a rough patch of his own, losing one-sided matches to Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen before rebounding in December by knocking out James Te Huna in just 63 seconds in Australia.

In the current UFC rankings, Henderson is currently No. 6 while Rua is one slot behind at No. 7.

The Henderson-Rua II event has not been officially announced but is expected to take place at Ginasio Nelio Dias in Natal, Brazil, a first-time destination for the promotion.

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