Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

I was going thru an existential faith-based crisis, disgruntled at a fork in the road if theirs is more to you than just your tangible body. Screw religion, God, Buddha, Muhammad, everything… if you don’t believe there’s more to your tangible body, then there is no discussion. While coping thru the question of “where do you go when your body perishes?”, I snapped out of my 7 mile stare towards the coffee table to revert my attention to my current environment of UFC fight night at Adam’s parents house. Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping had just finished their season run of The Ultimate Fighter and were now fighting each other. The Ultimate Fighter is a reality TV show where two teams of amateur mixed martial artists are pitted against each other, and coached by veteran UFC fighters. Bell rung, the two trade jabs, test each other out, covet the mood of the other opponent- the movement, the silhouette, weighing the risk of going in for a takedown verses a counter-attack. It was then I noticed Dan Henderson, a past decorated NCAA Division 1 wrestler turned MMA fighter, now a hulking elderly 30-something UFC fighter, plotted his stance amazingly unorthodox. He prepped his right hand as if this were some kind of video game- as if he were manipulated by some kind of outside Player 1 XBOX Controller and charging a kinetic energy in his fist- what the f--- are you doing Dan Henderson!?!?

Fending off Bisping with his left arm, Henderson looked as if he were stiff arming the offense out of Bisping- simply one-arming the man out of attacking. SWOOOSH! A long looping, hip-pivoting, right hand from Dan Henderson connected with the left side of Bisping’s chin. Bisping’s body dropped to the mat followed by Dan Henderson aerial diving with right-hand prepped to Donkey Kong punch the fallen fighter. BLAM! The aerial driven right-fist of Henderson slam Bisping’s head not only into the mat, but into a double ricochet off Henderson’s glove and again back into the mat.

Quickly pulled from the body of Bisping, Henderson clearly winning the fight, the attention quickly turned from the ultra-violent one-two combination that has just rocked Bisping’s entire solar system to the state of livelihood Bisping has been left in. Sitting on Adam’s parents couch, I figured it had to be right then and there… I’ve just seen a man murdered in cold blood. Bisping’s neck stretched back, arms locked into perfect 90 degree angles, and toes stretching as far as biologically possible. His body was in shock- never have I seen a man go down in such a fashion or go unconscious so swiftly. Veins, tendons, muscles all bulging and sweltering with blood clotted in place. Flesh easily frozen by the brain’s control panel shutting down every function of the body just to keep it breathing.

During that small “what the hell does it all mean?” fiasco of mine, watching Dan Henderson nearly kill a man with one hand furthered me to feel outside of my body. Here lay this guy I’ve never met, only watched on television in bloody MMA fights, and I felt severely hurt and sorry for him.

Bisping soon came to, and was assuredly not dead. He’d go on to win his next fight even. However, the right hand of Dan Henderson remains at large. Even more so, it happens tonight against the highly skilled multifaceted Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The two will potentially go down as UFC hall of famers, but still to be sorted out is the business of tonight’s clash, and potentially Hendo’s right hand of God- right hand of Allah- right hand of Fuck-Your-Life.

Rua and Henderson fight tonight amongst the toughest MMA division on the planet, Light Heavyweight. The top 10 is staunch filled with jobbers and killers that could flip to top 20 or escalate to top 3 within the stroke of 5 quick-fought seconds. At the top remains the still unscathed and/or matched Jon “Bones” Jones, however, I say again, these things can change very quickly. My usual go-to, Ugly Mug, isn’t showing the fight, so it’s on to Sneaky Pete’s where the cougars roam and the collars pop.

I don’t care to see another man struck out of his conscious existence, however the skill and art of MMA plays on my interest too much to avoid. If Dan Henderson is to win this bout, him and his f’ng right hand just might strike up more faith-based crisis than championship talk. Risking body and livelihood for a legacy and personal path can be attributed to one of those unquantifiable things beyond flesh & blood.

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