Tonight’s UFC 161 main event featured a clash of light heavyweights as former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson took on former UFC champ Rashad Evans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Evans would get the better of Henderson in the end, utilizing slick boxing and wrestling to edge the MMA legend.
Evans Edges Henderson in Great Fight
Both Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson came into tonight’s bout with a lot on the line after disappointing losses in their respective February bouts. Hendo would take the first round after catching Evans moving in with a stiff jab that put Evans on the canvas briefly. “Suga” Rashad would bounce back in the second round, as he began to find his range with his strikes.
With every tied at the end of two, the bout hinged on the third round. Evans really hit his stride in that round, as he landed blistering combinations and pressured forward with his wrestling against the tiring “Hendo.” That effort proved the difference however, as Evans picked up the crucial victory to snap the longest losing streak of his career.
The loss drops Henderson to 0-2 in his last two outings, but the classy fighter admitted that tonight’s loss was a bit easier to take than his UFC 157 loss to Lyoto Machida.
Rd. 1- Evans is in wrestling style stance to start the fight and lands a nice jab early. Hendo storms with his right but is rebuffed by a combo from Evans. Gorgeous duck to a combo by Evans. Nice combo by Rashad here. He looks like his old self so far. Hendo tries to throw his right but it isn’t there. Evans is so much faster. Takedown attempt by Evans but Hendo stuffs it. Evans with clinch work now and lands a big shot on the exit. Evans is ducking Hendo’s right well so far. Hendo catches Rashad with a stiff left jab that rocks the Blackzilian fighter Evans is struggling to recover. Round ends with Hendo stealing it late. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Hendo.
Rd. 2- Great takedown by Evans as the cobwebs are cleared now. Hendo is back up and a wicked punch by Evans on the exit that briefly staggers Hendo. Nice uppercut by Hendo. Great fight so far. Hendo is showing more striking range than in his last few fights. Nasty combo by Evans and he seizes control in the clinch. Hendo stuffs an Evans takedown attempt. Hendo is leaving himself open to the left high kick. Combo by Evans that he tries to finish with a takedown. Round ends with both in the middle and Evans cut. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Evans (19-19).
Rd. 3- Touch of gloves to start the round. Huge combo by Rashad staggers Hendo but he wisely plays it safe to avoid the mistake Fedor made. Evans doubles up on the jab. Hendo really looks tired here. Evans in on a single and he gives it up as he controls against the cage. Evans is controlling the fight against the cage but Hendo lands some knees. Nasty combination by Evans and he misses a takedown on the end of it. Jab by Evans. Evans controlling the clinch with good punches. Another combo by Evans against the cage. Evans is really looking strong here. Evans lands some shots as he tries a single Nice elbow by Hendo in the clinch. 0:30 left. Another slick combo by Evans as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Evans to give him the win (29-28).
Rashad Evans def. Dan Henderson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)