It’s easy to forget how good Dan Henderson is after the history we’ve had with him in the UFC. Getting smoked by Anderson Silva and worn down by Quinton Jackson, I was kinda expecting similar results in his fight against Rich Franklin. But that expectation was smashed within the first minute of the first round as Hendo bullied in and threw a huge overhand that knocked Franklin back against the cage. The next two minutes featured Rich stuck against the cage as Dan worked him over.
The rest of the first round was more back and forth, but in the second round Henderson took Franklin down and kept him there, smothering him. He didn’t do a lot of damage but there was no doubt in anyone’s minds that Hendo was 2 rounds ahead on the judge’s scorecards. Well, if you assume the judges are competent, that is.
In the third, Rich came out pushing hard for the round but judging by his reaction after he lost the fight, he figured he’d won one of the first two rounds too. I was actually figuring that Rich might get the nod because of chickenshit judging (ya know, where the judges give each fighter a round going into the third so they can effectively make a choice at the end of the fight), but that didn’t seem to be the case.
Dan Henderson won, fair and square. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind watching these two guys go at it again. Unfortunately, with Dan moving back to 185 and Rich staying up to 205, that might be the one and only time we get to see that fight. It pretty much redeemed the whole show, if you ask me.