Former light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson went into their UFC 161 main event looking to remain in the mix for a future shot at champion Jon Jones.
After a hard-fought battle at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre, Evans stood unscathed. The former UFC light heavyweight champion rallied in the final two rounds to take a split-decision victory from Henderson, the former Pride and Strikeforce champion.
Two of the Judges for the three-round main event scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Evans and one went with Henderson.
“Only fools rush in with Dan Henderson,” said Evans (18-3-1), who ended a two-fight losing streak. “He’s the kind of guy whose movement, when he’s hurt, he can still hit you with a good shot.”
The 42-year-old Henderson, a native of Temecula, Calif., had his best round in the first, as he rocked Evans with a stiff jab and nearly finished him in the follow-up.
“I didn’t know who threw it, I thought the referee kicked me or something,” Evans said. “After the round, I was asking my corner ‘what hit me?’”
Evans cleared the cobwebs and regained his composure in a tight second round. He then turned on the jets in the third, using his speed and technique to frustrate Henderson.
Post-fight stats indicated the closeness of the fight, as Evans barely outlanded Henderson in significant strikes, 49-47.
“There’s nobody to blame but myself,” said Henderson (29-10), who has dropped split decisions in his last two fights. “That third round I slowed down, I should have got a little bit more active. … I thought I hurt him in the first and second rounds, I thought I had those rounds.”
via Sports Xchange, Photo Credit: USA Today