UFC 139 round-by-round recaps
Maurício "Shogun" Rua vs. Dan Henderson
This marks the second five-round non-title main event for UFC and it should be awesome.
Big leg kick from Rua to start. Hendo lands a big right that staggers Rua. Rua goes to both knees and Hendo goes for a guillotine as Rua tries for a takedown. Rua gets back to his feet and eats hooks to the arms. Rua charges across the ring and eats another big shot and Henderson throws Rua from the cage. Knee to the body of Henderson. Leg kick from Shogun gets Henderson moving back. Rua shoots for a takedown but it's sprawled by Hendo. What I have failed to mention is that Rua has been bleeding like a stuck pig since that first big exchange. Rua lands a big punch and staggers Henderson. Hendo goes down, but holds the single leg until he can get through the worst of it. Shogun holds Hendo against the fence as the round comes to a close.
Jabs from Rua establish the range for the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Henderson goes for a takedown, but Rua reverses and gets him against the fence. Both men separate and Henderson gets Rua against the fence. Big uppercut from Henderson. Measured blows to the head and body from Henderson who looks as if he continues to time his shots. Both men throw big rights at the same time and miss. It looked like a moment out of "Rocky," so I brought it up. Rua plows forward with a combination for straights and hooks, pressing Hendo until Henderson reverses and begins leveling blows to the head and midsection of Rua. Henderson controls Shogun on the cage and Shogun looks as if he has already gone through a five-round fight with all the blood he's losing. The referee steps in to restart in the center of the cage as neither fighter progressed. Both fighters swing and counter as neither wants to concede the round. With 10 seconds to go, Rua begins to circle away from Hendo before time expires.
Referee Josh Rosenthal screams "last round" before the start of Round 3. He laughs when Henderson reminds him that he's wrong. Henderson presses Rua against the fence, looking to connect with his big right uppercut. Henderson gets a single leg, but Shogun squirms away and is back on his feet. Jab to the body by Rua. Rua is the more technical of the two fighters, but there is no question that Henderson is really taking it to Rua. Big right from Hendo puts Rua on the mat. Rua eats several HUGE shots on the bottom and Rosenthal looks like he's going to stop the bout. Shogun is a warrior and hangs on for dear life while being hammered on the mat. Rua reaches for a heel hook and Hendo escapes. Rua pops up and gets Henderson against the fence. Shogun is bleeding like a faucet. Elbows to the side of the head from Henderson, but Shogun drags Henderson to the mat. Rua lands several short blows to Henderson's face, but he's back to his feet albeit on the cage again. Shogun separates and lands a good right on Dan. Both fighters remain away to end the round. Henderson shakes out his right hand to end the round.
Both fighters are now wearing pink shorts from all of the blood. Shogun shoots for a single leg takedown to start the round. He gets it but Hendo is able to get free. Hendo tries to take Shogun's back, but Hendo gets free. Both fighters miss blows and Henderson gets a big takedown on Shogun. Hendo works for a one-arm guillotine in guard. Rua regains his full guard. Posturing up, Henderson lands two big punches. Rua and Hendo are exchanging on their feet. Big uppercut from Rua staggers Henderson. Big right from Henderson. Henderson is still rocked and he shoots for a takedown. Rua works free and ends up taking Henderson down to the mat. Henderson gives up his back back escapes and ends up in full guard as the round ends.
Henderson engages early, but Shogun ends up on top. With his feet on the cage, Rua lands a big knee to the body of Henderson. Shogun gets full mount again and is working to reverse the position again. Long punches land from Shogun, but they do little damage. Henderson gets back to half guard and is able to hold on. Rua tries to take Henderson's back when the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ rolls through, but he ends up back into mount. Rua lands punches and hammerfists in side control. Elbows from the full mount on Henderson. Both fighters have been spent since the third and they are just tearing into each other. Hendo gets Rua back into half guard as Rua starts for full mount again. Shogun is leveling short punches with 15 seconds to go. Henderson just won't quit. Great fight.
10-8 Rua. Henderson and Rua draw 47-47 on our card.
Dan Henderson defeats Maurico "Shogun" Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le
Cung Le enters to "Run This Town." This is appropriate because, well, he was a Strikeforce champion and this is Strikeforce's homebase, as well as his own. Get it? He's running the town?
As Darude's "Sandstorm" kicks on before Wanderlei Silva enters, the fans get uber-excited for the co-main event. It probably won't go 15 minutes, but it will certainly be an entertaining encounter.
Cung Le establishes the distance to begin throwing out some side kicks. Le comes in against the cage and connects with some leather. Wanderlei lands two punches that send Le away. Spinning back fist from Le knocks some sense into Silva. Spinning back fist connects on Silva and wobbles him. Le tries to finish with a wheel kick that barely misses. Silva looks like he has no answers early on and needs to close the distance. Silva throws two big hooks that are countered with a big spinning back kick to the chest from Le. Big punches from Silva force Le back. Le goes back to the body kick but misses. Le is bleeding and Silva smells a finish. Three high kicks from Silva are blocked by they seem to hurt Le. Silva begins to work for a finish against the fence and the two exchange punches as the round ends.
Slip from Silva. Front leg side kick from Le who is looking to reestablish his leg kicks in this round. Body kick from Silva. Axe kick misses for Le and Silva begins stepping inside Le's range, trying to outstrike the former Strikeforce champ. Alternating "Cung Le" and "Silva" chants are breaking out in the arena. Le tries for a spinning back kick that is blocked. Le looks like he's a step slower in this round and Silva is waiting to capitalize. Silva connects with a big right hand. Body and leg kicks from Silva. Silva is now seeing the kicks that Le is telegraphing and he's charging forward to press the action. One minute to go in the round and Wandy swarms in. High kick is partially blocked by Le. Big right hand from Silva puts Le back against the fence and Le takes a knee to the face. Le is out of the clinch and Silva grabs the muay thai clinch, raining knees to his face. Le is down and Wandy begins hitting clean, hard hammerfists as the ref steps in to call of the bout.
Wanderlei Silva beats Cung Le via knockout (Round 2, punches, 4:49)
Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles
The usual strains of "California Love," Faber's entrance song, come over the PA and the fans in San Jose are electric. Both men have so much on the line here in this contest; if Faber wins, he could get one more shot at UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (they're currently 1-1 head-to-head). If Bowles wins, he'll get a chance to avenge his only career loss. Dana White has already gone on record that tonight's winner gets the title shot. Should be a cracking contest.
Faber gets the first significant strike with a leg kick. Bowles is on his heels as Faber comes in. Both fighters step and land combos simultaneously. Bowles is taking uppercuts on the elbows from Faber. Big combo from Faber. Head kick from Faber is blocked. Currently, Bowles appears content to counter as Faber charges in, hoping to load that right hand. Good knee from Bowles, but Faber presses through. Faber shoots for a takedown and slams Bowles to the mat. Bowles tries for a guillotine that Faber gets out of easily. Bowles tries to wall walk, but gets stacked against the fence. Faber eats an upkick before falling back into Bowles guard to end the round.
Big uppercut from Faber hurt Bowles bad. Knee from Faber gets Bowles to his back and he is hurt badly. Bowles tries to get up eating a big knee to the body in process (think: Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz). Big elbows to a kneeling Bowles. Faber rolls through with a deep guillotine into mount for the submission win. Nasty second round from the former WEC featherweight champion.
Urijah Faber defeats Brian Bowles via submission (Round 2, guillotine choke, 1:27)
Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story
Story comes out trying to run straight through Kampmann. Against the fence, Kampmann eats several big shots but manages to angle away. Dangerous start for the Dane. Both men are bleeding early. Lead hooks to the body and head are connecting from Story. Story appears to be getting off first and Kampmann hasn't settled in yet. High kick from Kampmann is blocked. Body shots by Story are answered by a blocked head kick from Kampmann. Story seems to be the faster, stronger fighter thus far. Kampmann needs to keep it standing but cannot find his range yet. Story shoots and presses Kampmann to the fence, but explodes out with a right that barely missed. Big shots to the body from Story are countered by a big knee from Kampmann. Story is tearing up the mid-section of Kampmann and that is making the difference.
Head kick from Kampmann doesn't connect cleanly. Story and Kampmann both connect and Story is continuing his attack to the midsection. Right hand from Kampmann, followed by a right high kick. Kampmann seems to have settled in, finding his range and beginning to use his superior technique to wear Story down. Story swings wildly and Kampmann shakes off a big shot. Story seems to have regained some confidence and returns to his body work. Kampmann throws a headkick to keep Story honest. Trip takedown by Kampmann and he is into Story's half guard. Story is defending an arm triangle for around a minute and merely survives to the third frame.
Story comes out and is once again trying to run through Kampmann with body shots. Against the fence, Kampmann reverses and attempts to get Story to the mat once again. Kampmann sweeps Story to the mat, but Story is back on his feet, this time with Kampmann on his back. Kampmann releases and they are toe-to-toe in the center of the cage. Kampmann misses with a knee. Story gets a takedown two minutes into the round, but Kampmann gets up and walks back in to the center of the Octagon. The fans begin to boo the action in the cage - after a stellar first round and a dominant second round for Kampmann, the third round is wearing on them. Kampmann throws Story to the mat with a belly-to-back suplex, but Story gets right back to his feet. One minute to go, Kampmann gets a trip takedown that Story is right back up from. Story shoots right back at him and takes Kampmann down, but Kampmann walks up the cage. Kampmann takes Story's back with 30 seconds to go on the mat.
10-9 Kampmann and 29-28 on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Martin Kampmann defeats Rick Story by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury
First strike goes to the hometown boy, Kingsbury, who lands a leg kick. Good left hand by Kingsbury before he works Bonnar against the fence. Bonnar tags Kingsbury on the way out and Kyle takes a moment to compose himself. Accidental groin kick by Bonnar leads to a brief stoppage. Bonnar and Kingsbury exchange elbows in the muay thai clinch. Bonnar tries for a trip takedown, but Kingsbury rolls through. Kingsbury tries for a wild hook, but Bonnar gets free and throws a knee of his own. Right hand connects for Bonnar. Kingsbury walks straight back from Stephan, who takes him down to the mat with just over a minute to go in the round. Bonnar transitions into side control and gets into mount. Kingsbury survives as the round ends.
Kingsbury starts the second frame with a punch-and-head-kick combo. Bonnar tries one of his own with similar results. Kingsbury hits a kick that looks as if it leaves him wobbly, but Bonnar grabs Kingsbury and takes him to the mat. With Bonnar now in side control, Kingsbury is eating hammerfists and elbows, working to prevent the crucifix. North-south position leads to side control on the other side of Kingsbury. Bonnar is really executing on the mat and showing his grappling skills. Kingsbury is just being dominated on the ground, but is powering out of several crucifix and arm triangle attempts on the mat. Kingsbury isn't being hurt, but he's got no answer for Bonnar's grappling.
Bonnar comes in and drags Kingsbury to the ground, but Kingsbury shows resiliency and continues to fight to his feet. Bonnar flattens Kingsbury in half guard, dragging him from the cage. Bonnar works in side control, trying to get another mounted crucifix. Kingsbury, for his effort, has been able to get his arm free each time. The crowd has begun to boo, showing their disapproval for the mat work, which they must not have seen in Strikeforce (this is the backyard of the promotion, by the way). Kingsbury tries to squeak out the back door, but Bonnar resists and begins to work punches to the midsection from the north-south position. Bonnar postures up to end the fight and rain blows down.
10-9 Bonnar and a 30-27 win on the Inside Fights scorecards for Stephan Bonnar.
Stephan Bonnar defeats Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)