UFC 161 Preview

UFC_161The UFC will make yet another stop on their tour of the world and only a few weeks after major decisions changed the world of MMA. This past month Connecticut would be the latest state to pass a law allowing Mixed Martial Arts. Then the Canadian Government would make a decision to change the Criminal Code and allow Mixed Martial Arts throughout the country. It would leave only the state of New York as the only place in North America that did not allow MMA. The MMA continues to grow by leaps and bounds as more and more places are allowing the sport to flourish. Just as the Canadian Government changed their law the UFC is preparing to travel to their fourth Canadian stop. The UFC has already been to Vancouver and has standing dates in Toronto and Montreal but will continue to tour the country. The tour moves to Manitoba this week when UFC 161 takes place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The card looks much different from what it was originally as many of the fights were forced to be changed. The main event was to be a matchup for the UFC Featherweight Championship but an injury to the champion Jose Aldo would end the hope of that fight. In their place would be two top ten Light Heavyweights looking for their chance to move up the ladder and back to the championship. For Dan Henderson it is a chance to try to get closer to the one title that he has not achieved in his storied career. He came close only a few months ago when he was supposed to take on Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt. An injury would take him out of this fight and a loss to Lyoto Machida in his next fight would drop him out of contention. It wouldn’t end his hopes of earning a UFC title before he retires as he could end up back in title contention with some key wins including one at UFC 161. Henderson will look to get back to the top of the fighter rankings in the division when he takes on Rashad Evens in the main event. Evans, unlike Henderson, has tasted success in the UFC with a light heavyweight title on his resume. Now he is trying to get back to the top of the division and get back on track. After earning a shot at the title against his one time friend turned enemy, Jon Jones, Evans has not been able to get another win. He would lose his shot against Jones and would lose his next fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Now the leader of the Blackzilians is looking to get that win and start back on the track to getting another title. Both fighters are cut from the same cloth as they are both wrestlers who have become stand-up fighters in the UFC. Out of the two Rashad Evans is the better boxer though as he has the feet and the quickness to outduel Henderson. Henderson is more of a brawler who uses big looping punches to earn knockouts rather than just pure boxing. On the mat both have the same base but Evans prefers to use his wrestling background defensively to keep the fight standing. Henderson has no problem taking the fight to the ground and grinding out a win even with limited ground and pound. The fight will be an even one as the two fighters are very similar in their make up but one will have a slight advantage. Rashad Evans is the younger fighter and is just faster than Henderson and that will be his advantage. Evans will be able to keep the fight standing and use his boxing to overwhelm the slower Henderson. Expect a second round KO for Evans who will get the win and begin what could be his last climb up the ladder.

The changes in the main event were not the only ones for UFC 161 as the main card would see a number of changes as well. With changes on the main card one fighter would get a chance to continue his rise up the heavyweight rankings. It won’t be easy either as he will take the fight on two months rest in hopes that it will help him to get a shot at the title. Roy Nelson was supposed to fight in a few months but with the Mauricio Rua and Rogerio Nogueira fight being cancelled his fight would move up. It was only in April when Nelson would KO Cheick Kongoto earn his third win in a row. Now Nelson is ranked as the #5 heavyweight in the UFC and has a total of three KOs in a row in his last three fights. He seems on his way to a heavyweight title when the top of the division is sorted out. Now he will take on Stipe Miocic to try to continue his momentum and force the UFC to give him a title shot. Miocic will be looking to do himself a favour though in beating Nelson and bringing his name into the top ten of the heavyweight division. Miocic seemed to be a promising heavyweight prospect but a loss to Stefan Struve derailed his hopes of a top ten spot. Now he has the chance to add one of the best heavyweights to his win column if he can beat Roy Nelson. The fight will be a war as both fighters will swing away looking for the KO as the ground game may not even be a factor with two strikers in the octagon.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
“Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (PPV)

 

Main Card:
Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic (PPV)

Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo vs. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac (PPV)

Alexis Davis vs. Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton (PPV)

Pat “HD” Barry vs. Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (PPV)

 

Undercard:
Jake Shields vs. Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (FX/Sportsnet)

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs. James “The James Krause” Krause (FX/Sportsnet)

Sean “The Punisher” Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson (FX/Sportsnet)

Roland Delorme vs. Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa (FX/Sportsnet)

Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke vs. John “The One” Maguire (Facebook)

Yves “Tiger” Jabouin vs. Dustin “The Disciple” Pague (Facebook)

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