Dan Henderson spent the first 70 seconds stalking Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, his trademark thunderous right hand locked and loaded and looking to land.
But it wasn't until the third round when that right hand did its job, knocking down Feijao and leading to the TKO and giving Henderson the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship Saturday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Henderson (27-8) had been winless in his past four title fights but finally added a new championship to his resume. Henderson, 40, was also a two-time Pride champion.
"It's going to be nice to have that Strikeforce belt," Henderson said "But, my main focus was to win that fight."
Feijao (10-3) got caught with that overhand right on his chin and face-planted on the mat. Henderson raced in, jumped on top of Feijao and unloaded a series of punches before referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to stop the fight. This is the fourth straight unsuccessful defense of the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
"It's a punch that I kind of like to do, inside leg kick then overhand right," Henderson said
Henderson landed a big right hand in the first round, and it stung Feijao. But it was Feijao who scored the knockdown when he countered seconds later with a thunderous right hand. Feijao charged in on the grounded Henderson, but the two-time Olympic wrestler got to his feet, scored a takedown and use body control to recover from the punch.