UFC 161: Fallout For After Everyone Wakes Up!

UFC,UFC 161,Bet on UFC,Rashad Evans,Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans seemed to have their eyes closed the whole match, not just for this picture.

Every time I see an interview of a fighter, UFC or otherwise, and they are talking about making exciting fights for the fans, the answer should be ‘show me don’t tell me’.  Last night’s UFC 161 card from Canada had 9 of the 11 fights go the distance, so much so that a ‘Boring Fight of the Night’ bonus might be in order – there are tons of candidates.  Perhaps none more so than main event between Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson.  Evans won a Split Decision over Henderson after three rounds that saw neither fighter really hurt the other.

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I am a Dan Henderson fan, and first met him when he made his UFC debut back at UFC 17, way back in May of 1998.  But Dan is moving further and further away from a title shot that he covets, as his performances become less and less explosive as he approaches his mid forties.

Henderson always used his incredible wrestling pedigree to stay on his feet and land the big shot.  Even if he didn’t score the KO, people didn’t like getting hit by him, and he uses this to control the ring and the pace of the match.  Against opponents of the highest skill level, like Lyoto Machida and Evans, he hasn’t really even been able to hit them.  And then, despite all the due respect of a hall of fame fighter, you realize not all the TRT in the world will make you think Dan has it anymore.

For Evans, I guess a win is a win, but all his talk of getting his old swagger back, well, he did not show it in the match.  Evans is still in a spot where going to 185 is an option, but he has not been exciting enough to earn a title shot in either division.   To look at Lyoto as an example, people don’t even want to rematch Jon Jones, so why would Rashad?

So what do you do with Rashad Evans next?  There is already talk of putting him in with hungry Brazilian Glover Teixiera, and that might help Rashad create an exciting fight – he can’t do it on his own.

As for Henderson the news is grim.  Could he KO a lower level someone and create a buzz?  Yes, he is a hall of famer.  But he has lost two in a row and is a 40 something and his future is in being a legend.  He shouldn’t cheapen that by rolling out one more time, or two more times….

 

 

About Miguel

MMA matchmaker since 1997. No one besides Joe Silva has made more fights than me.
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