This marks what has to be the quickest turnaround for both fighters in quite some time. Both fighters are coming off of big losses in the division and hope to rebound on the big event. The marquee fight will reportedly serve as a co-main event with a headliner expected to be announced soon.
Henderson wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to get back into the octagon quickly. Henderson is coming off a controversial loss to Lyoto Machida. Personally I think he was robbed but that isn’t going to change anything. Henderson not only lost the fight but lost his place as the number-one contender to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Rashad Evans is also coming off of a loss, his I think more devastating than Henderson’s. This is a far cry from the proposed super fight he would have gotten with Anderson Silva had he won his last fight. Evans dropped back to back decisions in the division after losing to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a fight where Evans looked lethargic and unmotivated.
As big as this fight is, I can’t get overly excited about it. The styles of Henderson and Evans really don’t make for a great fight. Henderson is fighting a guy who once again doesn’t like to engage. This fight really could be nothing more than Evans dancing his way to a decision. At the same time if Evans comes in with the same attitude as he had in his previous fight, he could get KO’d quickly.
I wouldn’t expect either one of these guys to get cut with a loss, although you never know with Henderson. Evans is a UFC guy for life with more job security than just about anyone. Henderson makes a lot of money and had had his disagreements with UFC president Dana White in the past. I would be surprised but not shocked if he was let go with a loss, especially a KO or TKO.
Confirmed UFC 161 fights…
Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua
Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley
Stipe Miocic vs. Soa Palelei
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