UFC 161: Rashad Evans gets split decision nod over Dan Henderson
UFC 161 in Winnipeg was treated to thunderous, enthusiastic crowds and several excellent matches, as well as a couple iffy judge’s decisions.
'Suga' Rashad Evans looked more his old quick-twitch self as he ducked, feinted, and used flashy footwork to try and mesmerize the 42 year old legend, Dan 'Hendo' Henderson. The plan didn’t work so well in the first. Hendo’s power became apparent early, and Hendo eventually dropped Evans, not with the trade-marked H-bomb, but with a stiff left jab that left Suga’ wobbly on his stool.
In the second Evans looked to pick up the pace and even the score, but fell short. As the fight went on, all but one of his takedown attempts failed, and the one that succeeded lasted about the length of a swig of beer. A sharp elbow late in the round cut Evans over the right eye, and as the bell rang and he walked to his corner, Evans looked more than a little befuddled.
Evans initiated clinches with the Greco-Roman wrestler all night, but in the third they paid dividends. Despite being on the business end of some powerful knees to the midsection, Evans soundly won round three.
The judges scored the fight a split decision for Rashad, which is evidence you should never leave the fight in the hands of the judges. Henderson won the first two rounds, and said so to Joe Rogan after the fight, then complained about his loss to Lyoto Machida again, intimating Machida runs and doesn’t fight, which is a misrepresentation if there ever was one. Get over it.
Rashad was gracious in defeat, finally, shouting out to loved ones here and loved ones gone. But this fight won’t get Rashad any closer to a title fight at light heavyweight. Had either man won decisively, he would have been shortlisted to meet Jon 'Bones' Jones. As it stands, Rashad will need to prove more in order for Dana White to sell a rematch with Bones.
Odds and ends
In another baffling decision, Yves Jabouin was given the nod over Dustin Pague. Pague was the aggressor even from bottom position, attempted countless submissions, and was the better wrestler. Twitter was angry.
Canadian stand out Muay Thai fighter and UFC veteran Sam Stout was submitted late in the fight by a much taller James Krause. Krause used his length of limb to control distance, and did what few others have done: out-struck Stout. Krause could be a force in the 155 pound division if he keeps that up.
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