In Dan Henderson's first fight since his loss to Anderson Silva he would get no breaks from the talented grappler Rousimar Palhares.
The first round went just about how Henderson wanted it to as he landed a few solid combos while avoiding most takedown attempts by Palhares and working his way back to his feet when finding himself in the guard position. Right before the end of the first Palhares managed to work Hendo to the ground and in a tangled mess found himself locking Henderson into a painful knee bar. But Henderson would stay patient and fight his way through to the end of the first round.
Early in the second round Palhares finally had a nice shot and grabbed hold of both of Henderson's legs, picking him up and slamming him hard into the ground. Palhares was looking for another knee bar submission and then moved to an ankle lock before Henderson forced his way out of the submission attempts.
Henderson took top position for a short time but did little damage before both fighters were stopped and brought to their feet by the ref. Palhares continued to throw leg and body kicks but failed to connect with any significant damage before the second round came to an end.
Heading into the final round Hendo knew he had to play it smart and he continued to evade the repeated takedown attempts by Palhares and land his solid combos which did enough damage to score some points in the judge's minds. Palhares could do little in defense of Hendo's attack and with just a few seconds left in the round Henderson landed a huge right hand that left no doubt in the mind of the judges.
Henderson earned a unanimous victory and his first win in the UFC in ten years.
Check out the full results of UFC 88 here.
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