Dan Henderson Believes Rashad Evans is “Shy” about Exchanging in the Pocket

June 13, 2013
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Dan Henderson UFC 157 Pre 7UFC light heavyweight contender Dan Henderson believes his UFC 161 opponent Rashad Evans is “shy” about exchanging in the pocket, but is aware of the former UFC light heavyweight champion’s wrestling ability.

The difference between Evans and other opponents Henderson has faced is Evans’ ability to get the fight to the ground.

“He’s a better wrestler than most of my opponents have been,” Henderson told former welterweight contender turned broadcaster Frank Trigg.

“I think he gets a little nervous sometimes in there.  I’m going to be pressuring him, but not overly aggressive where I end up getting taken down easy.  I want to make sure I pressure and control the middle and wait for him to kind of come at me a little bit, but still just pressure him and be aggressive, but not to where I’m going to be getting taken down,” he said.

Henderson feels Evans is sometimes hesitant to let his hands go, but doesn’t think Evans has ever been mentally broken in a fight.

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying scared.  He’s just a little bit shy when it comes to that.  He’s a little hesitant sometimes.  Maybe he’s thinking too much, I don’t know,” said the 42-year-old.

“I haven’t really seen in any of his other fights where he’s broken from pressure at all.  He just stays in there and does the best he can.  But he doesn’t pull the trigger a lot of times when he should, or he’s not aggressive.  I think just pressuring him and creating action a little bit more than he’s used to might get him a little tired.  And trying to take me down might get him tired as well,” said Henderson.

“I don’t think Rashad is going to be in any better shape than I am at all.”

Evans’ approach is sometimes hard to figure out.  He stands with strikers and wrestlers with wrestlers and appears to be gun-shy at times.

“I think that could be why he’s hesitant sometimes to really stand and trade with some guys.  But there are other fights where I think he should be taking the guy down and he doesn’t.  He’s kind of a hard guy to figure out what he’s going to do, or how he’s going to come out,” said Henderson.

“I know what his strengths are and I know what dangers he possesses, so those are the things that I need to be aware of and then come up with my game plan and just be thinking about my offense, what I’m going to do and not what he can do.”

Evans is going to have a speed advantage, but isn’t worried about Evans running from him.

“I think I can pressure him and still stay in the center and just keep a little bit of pressure on.  He’s not going to run anything close to what (Lyoto) Machida did.  When I pressure, when I come at him, I need to be aware of not getting taken down and his counter strikes.  He’s quick and athletic,” said Henderson.

“Anything can happen in a fight.  I’m not discounting the fact that I need to be aware of his striking and his power and his takedowns.”

As far as how the fight unfolds, Henderson believes it could play out two different ways.

“It’s really got the potential to be a really good fight if the action kind of gets pushed, and it’s got the potential to be a pretty boring fight too if he takes me down and puts me on my back too much then that slows it way down.”

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  • Supaman

    wow, i’ve never complained about the writing on mmaweekly before… but wow, that was difficult to read. that had to have been a rough draft after the Blackhawks game.

    at any rate, this is a fight that Rashad should be able to win rather easily style-wise. they have similar builds but Rashad is slightly larger, younger, faster, better footwork. At this point, Hendo just kinda plods along and tries to land that H-bomb. Rashad has better hand speed and can hide his power punches better than Hendo. If Rashad decides to throw some kicks, then those are powerful too. Rashad should be able to take down Hendo as well and control the fight there. Hendo’s cardio has also decreased quite a bit and Rashad will have a decided advantage here, even if Hendo doesn’t think so or want to admit it.

    However, as Hendo points out, Rashad often doesn’t do what he should. If Rashad doesn’t game plan properly or gets stuck being gunshy, then Hendo may take this.

    • Lucas Freire

      Rashad often doesn’t do what he should when it means being aggressive.
      If it means outpointing a slower adversary, I think he does it perfectly.

      • shakejunt

        mr nogueira on line 1…

        • Lucas Freire

          haha checkmate,completely forgot about his last bout.

    • blah

      What the f**K is this an english class? I understand it has to be professional but seriously.. let see you write better. It seem everyone that always comment on someone writing is really pathetic. Does the grammer really matter? In the end of the day YOU KNOW and understand what “there” trying to say…

      p.s correct my handwriting please because honestly you people are sadly sad.

      It like when you speak to a foreign person in real life trying to understand what they say. Give them the same patience like this guy writing.

      HEY! let me correct you. YOUR NAME IS SUPERMAN NOT SUPAMAN. :p

      • Milosc

        It’s a “publication”, chief. Not some bad joke scribbled in a lavatory

        Read a goddamn book

  • Sir_Roy

    Maybe Rashad is timid about exchanging in the pocket … because the last time he did so, Machida Knocked him the ‘f’ out.

    Henderson would do the same despite Rashad’s faster hands.

    • shakejunt

      maybe rashad has a gsp-esque complex where he can’t open up since being put down.

      • Sir_Roy

        Could be. I do think losing to Machida did something to him.

        Although it’s not really the same, as he doesn’t dominate at his game as GSP does. He’s grown into a worse fighter since IMHO. While GSP got slightly less entertaining, he undoubtedly grew into a far better technical fighter playing to his strengths and dominating all competition as a result. I wouldn’t call GSP “scared” – we might have been able to say that had his style not proven to be smart, dominant and extremely effective.

      • Collideoverme

        I believe that is exactly GSP’s issue. He has been tko’d. Condit almost did it. So he chooses to shoot and gnp. His last good fight was standing with Koscheck.

        • Sir_Roy

          Yeah … the fact you choose the Koscheck fight as his “last” good fight over the Condit one says a lot.

          GSP doesn’t just “shoot” and gnp. Heck, his last fight with Diaz went 13 minutes on the feet. More than half the fight kept standing. GSP imposes his will, and takes the fight where he wants it when he wants it. He plays against his opponent’s weaknesses. Which is smart. His fights that were predominantly on the mat were against folks who’s weaknesses were wrestling and BJJ (Alves, Hardy). Those who’s wrestling and / or BJJ are strong (Shields, Koscheck, even Diaz to an extent), GSP took them to school standing.

          • Collideoverme

            I’m not bagging Gsp. It was just the one that came to mind. I consistently, and admittingly, never give Condit his props. Just not a fan. Gsp is a gamer, that’s for sure. Great, smart fighter. I would still love for him to just open up and beat the hell out of somebody, kind of like he did Fitch. Because he really, REALLY beat the hell out of him. That, I have to say, is one of my favorite fights of all time.

  • Tony

    Who actually cares about the grammar and correct punctuation of the article…..??!! I frequent a couple of these MMA forum’s & there is ALWAYS some comment’s about how the article is hard to read/ the writer should proof read…..what a bunch of pansies!! (hope i spelled that right…I’m sure if I did not Ill find out) I cant believe its actually a conversation about a guy just trying to get the news out ASAP. That’s all……get it out quick so our boring & monotonous day has some appeal. It would be cool if every post about this was erased before anybody had to see it. To the people who make the posts….instead of correcting someone who obviously has a waaaaay cooler job/ life than you, do something cool and interesting yourself and contribute with positiveness vs. the arrogant negativity portrayed (safely I may add) through posts. I, as a fan of MMA, could care less about anything other than the news & posts pertaining to the news……thanks to all who don’t do this & give opinion’s, its great reading!

    • shakejunt

      didn’t read.

      but the comments are accurate, there are a disproportionate amount of errors on this site for the amount of traffic it gets.

  • Tony


    First off…….did read…….for the story alone, NOT how it was written

    Second, the amount of traffic (IMO) has no bearing on individuals posing as editors. Leave the comment section for comments pertaining to MMA. I’m mean really, who is in a better position in life or as a human being all together by correcting these guys?? Don’t get me wrong, pulling something apart to gain a clearer understanding of what’s being said is very important, we all do it everyday at work and at home with the family. I guess it all boils down to……WHO GIVES A CRAP HOW WELL THE POST WAS WRITTEN……obviously you do. So, playing pretend is VERY fun when your a child, lets leave it there & move on as adults. Kinda going out there a bit, but ask George Zimmerman what pretending did for him. Just an opinion/ food for thought

    By the way, the green sign with the lights is cool….what does shake junt mean- just curious

  • Tony


    That is friggin hillarious!!!! You’d think your dealing with a college professor…Bwahahahahah!!!!