While this weekend’s UFC 160 event coming to us from Las Vegas has most of the MMA world’s attention, we take a look at the UFC’s next numbered offering, UFC 161, which comes to us June 15th, from Winnipeg, Canada. The Renan Barao vs Eddie Wineland bantamweight interim title bout is off the card to due a foot injury for Barao, leaving a card with none of the fighters in the immediate title pictures in their weight classes. The new main event features Light Heavyweights Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans facing off, and though both men are highly rated, neither man is looking at a title shot for their followup bout.
Evans, a former champion, must have caught the ‘Quinton Jackson’ bug, possibly from the source itself, as it was around the Quinton Jackson fight that Evans started to look disinterested in his fights. In an attempt to keep Evans relevant,t he UFC matched him tough twice, and it resulted in two losses in a row for Evans, so he is in a must win situation for this bout.
Henderson is not at risk of losing his job, but his clock is ticking. Henderson will have the wheels come off his career should TRT be banned, but he is good to go and needs a win to get back in the title picture. Truth be told, Henderson has settled into a style of looking to land the big punch, but he doesn’t submit people, he doesn’t really wrestle (though he is highly skilled) and his boxing is limited. This match has snoozer written all over it, but it is a pick em fight at the sports books.
The new co-main event of the evening features Heavyweights Pat Barry and Shawn Jordan. This is befuddling, as Pat Barry is likely on the doorstep of being cut, and Jordan has shown his inexperience in his matches and needs a lot of work to be main cmaterial.
Slipping Roy Nelson on the card is a good move, as Nelson entertains in and out of the ring, however facing him is Stipe Miocic. Miocic is probably outclassed in this fight in every way, from skill to gas tank to experience, Nelson runs the table, so they added a match with very little intrigue.
The match that should excite people is the women’s match between Rosi Sexton and Alexis Davis. Sexton in particular, will thrive in the UFC when Dana White removes his head from his own ass and opens the women’s 125 lb division. Until then, we get to see Sexton be slightly undersized, but it also gives her a chance at a few come from behind victories. Sexton is a highly skilled, intelligent fighter that anyone should be able to appreciate, and I am sure Davis has her fans as well.