Our boys over at Intravid.com gives us their breakdown of UFC 161′s main even between former UFC champ Rashad Evans and former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson.
UFC 161 this Saturday is yet another UFC card that has been seriously plagued by injuries. Originally on the card was supposed to be Eddie Wineland vs Renan Barao for the 135lb interim belt. With Barao injured, Wineland is forced to forgo his title shot for the time being and if Barao is out for an extended period of time Dominick Cruz might be back and ready to take on Barao for the long awaited championship bout at 135 lbs. Also missing Saturday night from the card is the original bout for Mauricio Shogun Rua and Lil Nog at 205 lbs. With 2 potentially great fights now missing can anybody save this card? It will be up to main event fighters Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson who will clash at 205 lbs this Saturday. Let’s take a look at how these two fighters stack up…
After two consecutive losses Blackzilian Captain Rashad Evans is looking to get back in the mix with an impressive victory over the veteran Dan Henderson. Rashad looked very “off” in his most recent bout against Lil Nog at UFC 156 in February and so the pressure is on for him to show fans his last fight was a bit of a fluke. Rashad needs this win to put himself back In the mix and an impressive victory over Henderson could be enough to put Evans in a number one contender fight if he chooses to drop down to 185 lbs. Evans has mentioned if he loses he will likely drop down to middleweight as even though the weight cut would be difficult the move would be a fresh start for him. Personally I think he should drop down to middleweight either way as the 185 lb division could bring new, exciting fights for Rashad to add to his resume, as well as a more realistic chance for a run at the belt.
This Saturday we will look for Rashad to use his wrestling, speed, and athleticism to beat Dan Henderson. Both fighters are great wrestlers with powerful right hands. Look for Rashad to keep the fight in the center of the cage, be continuously circling away from Henderson’s right hand and pursuing takedowns via his signiture blast double-leg. Though Henderson is a phenomenal wrestler I believe Rashad’s double-leg takedown, when combined with his speed, will be enough to out wrestle Henderson. Rashad will need to stay active on top and will likely end up with a victory via decision.
At 42 years old, Dan Henderson will look to quiet all doubters as he steps up to face Rashad Evans on Saturday at UFC 161. Henderson is coming off of a lackluster split decision loss to former champion Lyoto Machida that most likely left 97% of MMA fans sleeping in their chair. Though it is tough to blame Henderson seeing that Machida’s incredibly illusive style is the main cause for how boring the fight was, Henderson still needs an impressive and exciting performance this Saturday to state his case that he is still a contender a 205 lbs. After two impressive performances against Fedor and Shogun Rua it is clear Henderson is still full of talent. Unfortunately, after a knee injury forced him out of his title fight at UFC 151 which was then followed by a lacking performance against Machida, it is tough to argue that Henderson is not nearing the end of his career. It will be interesting to see if Henderson shows up on Saturday as you can never count out a warrior like Henderson who might show us that he should be considered one of the light heavyweight division’s top contenders.
Look for Henderson to use his Olympic wrestling abilities against Rashad. Dan will certainly be the slower, less agile fighter Saturday night so look for Henderson to try to pressure Evans up against the cage and beat him down there. Henderson has a vicious right hand that he has cocked back, ready to unleash at all times. Henderson tends to rely a bit too much on his power and I hope to see him put together combinations, other than his classic inside leg kick, overhand right that we have become so accustomed to seeing him throw. Henderson will need to cut off the cage to negate Evans movement and use his wrestling background and dirty boxing to wear down Rashad.