Injuries take their toll in Winnipeg (UFC 161 Review)

Rashad Evans vs Dan HendersonUFC 161 would run into a familiar problem in the UFC as injuries would change the look of the card completely. The card would look completely change the card and would take away some of the biggest names on the card away. In the end it ended up hurting the card with fights that were good but not as good as it could have been. There were plenty of lackluster fights on the card with the first fight going to a split decision. Then there would be another 8 decisions on the card with not a lot of action in many of them. The main event would be a different from the start as well with a title fight being replaced by a fight between two light heavyweights that were both looking to move up the rankings. Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson would get the call as the new headliners. Evans and Henderson were both looking to get back on track after losses that had put their hopes of a title shot at risk. Evans was coming off of a loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira after his loss to Jon Jones for the title. It was not looking good for Evans as many believed he had lost a step and was on his way out of the UFC. He had seemingly had one foot out the door as most believed he would not earn another shot at the title. Meanwhile Dan Henderson had been in this position for years as he seemed destined to never get his UFC belt. He came close to getting that chance as he was set for a matchup with Jon Jones but was injured and had to drop out of the fight. His next fight would be a loss to Lyoto Machida that would put a hold on his title hopes. With Henderson’s career nearing an end at 40 years old the fight against Evans would be an essential one if he had hoped to get back to the top of the division. The fight meant almost the same thing to both fighters and with two similar styles many believed that it would be a great boxing match between the slugging Henderson and the stylized boxing of Evans. The fight would end up this way although the slugfest that many were hoping for did not take place. Instead the fight would be a series of explosive exchanges and periods of finding range. The first round would see both fighters moving cautiously as they had plenty of respect for the power in the opponent’s hands. Henderson would get the first big shot though as he would hit Evans with a big right hand that would drop the former UFC champ. Henderson would begin to rush in hoping to finish the fight early but Evans would gather himself and have just enough movement to escape any further damage. The second round would see Evans look to work his ground game against Henderson with multiple takedown attempts. The attempts that succeeded were not kept very long and while in the clinch after a foiled attempt or after getting up Henderson would do more damage. The third round saw Henderson at a much slower pace and Evans quickly realized this and would jump on him to try to leave the fight out of the hands of the judges. Evans would get more done in that round as Henderson was not at the same speed at the end of the fight. In the end it was Evans who would take a Split Decision victory in a close fight that was not as exciting as a split decision may make it seem. With the loss Henderson seems to be one step closer to the end of his career with little hope of getting back to a title shot after two straight losses. The win for Evans would be a big one as he would break out of his slump and although he was not the most impressive fighter on the night a few more good wins could put him in contention for a title shot.

One of the fights that would be brought in to fill the void left by multiple injuries would be Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic. Nelson would take the fight on 6 weeks notice after earning a KO against Cheick Kongo. It would be a quick turnaround but for a man who is determined to force the UFC to give him a title shot he was willing to do anything. In his way was one of the most promising heavyweight fighters in the division in Stipe Miocic. After losing his last fight to Stefan Struve, Miocic was hoping to get back on the path to a title. There would be no better person to do it against than the man many considered to be right on the edge of earning that next title shot. There was never any question that both fighters would look to keep the fight standing for the majority of the fight as Nelson’s one punch power had earned him more wins that Miocic’s career wins while Miocic was looking to show that he had some heavy hands too. It was a good fight on a lesser night as both fighters came out swinging trying to go home early. Miocic would realize that his best bet was to stay away from the right hand of Nelson and so he would go in and out while circling right and preventing Nelson from getting that big overhand right in. The movement of Miocic would really affect Nelson as he would look completely out of breath by the first round. Miocic’s athleticism would be the difference as Nelson would look out on his feet at the midway point of the fight and Miocic would continue to land solid shots. The fight would end with Miocic earning a Unanimous Decision victory and immediately jumping in the rankings as he looks to be on track after a bump in the road against Struve. Nelson took the loss but did it on a short turnaround which will not end his hopes of a title fight soon but will delay them.

 

Fight Bonuses
($50,000 for each fighter)

Submission of Night
James Krause would make his UFC debut in Winnipeg against the 16 fight veteran and Canadian Sam Stout but Krause would be the better fighter on the feet and would grind out the stand up until he could take the fight to the ground and earn the Guillotine Choke victory

Knockout of the Night
The fight between Louisiana natives Shawn Jordan and Pat Barry was never going to go the full three rounds as someone was earning the KO and it was Jordan who would get it in less than a minute into the first round

Fight of the Night
The UFC debut for Krause got even better after the fight as he earned two bonuses on the night including the Fight of the Night alongside Sam Stout who has earned his fair share of these bonuses in his 16 fight career and will have plenty more to come

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
“Suga” Rashad Evans def. Dan “Hendo” Henderson
(Split Decision)

 

Main Card:
Stipe Miocic def. Roy “Big Country” Nelson
(Unanimous Decision)

Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo def. Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac
(Unanimous Decision)

Alexis Davis def. Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton
(Unanimous Decision)

Shawn “The Savage” Jordan def. Pat “HD” Barry
(TKO, Rd. 1)

 

Undercard:
Jake Shields def. Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley
(Split Decision)

James “The James Krause” Krause def. Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 3)

Sean “The Punisher” Pierson def. Kenny Robertson
(Majority Decision)

Roland Delorme def. Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa
(Unanimous Decision)

Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke def. John “The One” McGuire
(Unanimous Decision)

Yves “Tiger” Jabouin def. Dustin “The Disciple” Pague
(Split Decision)

 

Upcoming Events 

UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman (Saturday July 6th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Chris “All-American” Weidman
Notable: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira
Notable: Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie

UFC on Fox 8: Johnson Moraga (Saturday July 27th; 8:00 pm ET)
Seattle, Washington (Key Arena)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. John Moraga [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger
Notable: Robbie “Ruthless” Lawlor vs. Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada

UFC 163: Aldo vs. Jung (Saturday August 3rd; 10:00 pm ET)
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (HSBC Arena)
Main Event: Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung [Featherweight Title]
Notable: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis
Notable: Demian Maia vs. Josh “Kos” Koschek

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