Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans Confirmed for UFC 161; Headliner Still TBA

March 6, 2013
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Dan Henderson vs. Rashad EvansThe Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday announced its first foray into Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. UFC 161, slated for June 15 at the MTS Centre, doesn’t yet have a main event, but the fight card is quickly stacking up.

UFC officials confirmed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Sao Palelei vs. Stipe Miocic earlier in the day, but Tuesday evening added Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans to the UFC 161 fight card.

UFC president Dana White publicly targeted the fight about a week ago on UFC Tonight, but later added the caveat that the bout was pending Henderson gaining medical clearance.

Henderson’s medical status wasn’t referenced, but UFC officials announced the bout late Tuesday via the promotion’s official Twitter account.

Henderson (29-9) was on target to finally score the UFC light heavyweight championship bout that he missed out on at UFC 151 due to injury, but had his plans derailed by Lyoto Machida. Henderson and Machida squared off at UFC 157 recently in Anaheim, Calif., with Machida scoring a controversial split decision victory.

Henderson had been on a four-fight winning streak prior to that loss, including victories over Shogun Rua and Fedor Emelianenko.

Instead of stepping in to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, Henderson instead steps in with Evans.

Like Machida, Evans (17-3-1) is a former UFC light heavyweight champion. He road a four-fight winning streak, weathering several setbacks due to injury, to get a return shot at the belt at UFC 145.

Evans failed to recapture the title from Jones, his former teammate, and then followed that up with a flat performance against Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 over Super Bowl weekend. Evans lost both fights by unanimous decision, entering the bout with Henderson in desperate need of a victory.

In confirming Henderson vs. Evans, Nogueira vs. Shogun, and Palelei vs. Miocic, UFC officials also noted that a main event announcement was still forthcoming.

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  • Mike mckinney

    Instead of stepping in to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, Jones instead steps in with Evans.

    I think you made a mistake here saying “jones” when you meant hendo.
    I’m not trying to be the annoying reader who tries to correct things, but just looking to help out.
    Please deleted comment when after you read it please.

  • Jason Decipher

    Controversial!? Hendo couldn’t do anything against Machida! Machida threw him to the floor like a rag doll. Where waa Hendo’s takedown defence then?

    • Seth

      Lol…he tripped him once, when Hendo was off balanced. You wanna see “ragdolling”? Watch McDonald Vs Diaz. I had it 29-28 for Hendo, but fight was boring, both were watching to avoid each other hands – that was clear when they announced that fight – but still, it was boring fight, not a war that ppl expected :/

      • OverratedHippie

        I had the fight a draw, as both looked unimpressive. But to be honest, that is exactly what I expected this fight to be. I felt Henderson was closer to winning that than I originally gave him credit for. I expected Machida to win all 3 rounds easily, and I’m not sold he won even 2 of them.

      • will

        OFF BALANCE?? Dude are you blind lol

      • Lucas Freire

        I guess we watched different fights. It’s not because Machida can’t KO a tough guy like Hendo,that he didn’t put some punishment on his face.
        Machida was better standing,accomplished a REAL takedown(Machida slipped). And came out of the fight with NO injuries. Who cares if Hendo touched Machida’s leg 3 thousand times? There’s a difference between an Aldo’s legkick and a Hendo check kick.

  • Hendo vs Rashad is a fight I have been waiting for.
    Hendo by Ko.

    • Supaman

      that’d be fun. I just don’t know if Hendo will be able to catch Rashad. Rashad has decent movement, more quickness, while Hendo has really slowed and now telegraphs that right hand way too much. Not to mention Rashad does have a great chin.

      While Hendo is a well-respected, decorated wrestler, he’s been taken down by smaller, worse wrestlers than Rashad.

      That being said, if Rashad just stands there like he did vs. lil Nog, then yeah, Hendo will at least dec. him.

  • stevemcz11

    This will be boring. Both coming off unimpressive performances. Looking forward to reading about who won this one

    • bajafox

      A few years ago this fight on paper would have been a headliner but I have to agree with you, I don’t think this will be as good as it sounds and one of them is probably going to get cut if they don’t perform

      • will

        Rashad will never be cut…Never. He is a ufc company man

  • Mark McDowall

    I wish UFC started putting stipulations on some of there matches…this would be a perfect “looser leaves town(retirement)” Match. Both of these fighters are in the twilight of their career and need to leave when they are still relatively on top, not how LIdell and Hughes went out. with a string of bad KO’s.

    Hendo has lost a step and is relying on the H-Bomb as his only weapon. His knee injury has almost eliminated his ability to shoot. Rumor has it that he re-injured his knee before the fight, and for a guy of his age that’s going to keep happening

    Rashad just doesn’t seem to care anymore. His last fight against Lil Nog was horrible. He wasn’t engaged…he gassed…which is unheard for him. Rashad is in it now for the money and thats all. He can say all he wants to try and stay relevant, but he cares about his bank balance more than getting the belt back.

    This fight is really just filler for the card…it doesn’t put any of them in title contention, it just pits 2 veterans against each other. The most exciting part of this fight are the names and thats it.

    • Realsies

      lol, “retirement match.” this isn’t WWF.

    • Tyme_5

      I think a KO win for either guy gets people talking about them in the title picture again, especially Hendo. Its not like he got destroyed against Machida, and a lot of people thought he won. He isn’t the first guy to be in a boring fight with Machida, so I don’t see why it is such a big knock on him. If he can put Evans to sleep, people will be asking for the Jones fight again.

  • Luis Romero

    yea,reshad is not putting into the fight like dana is putting into his bank account,so i say if reshad looses this fight,dana should close the doors on him like he did to rampage jackson

  • Luis Romero

    wait…………..no,if reshad looses this fight,dana should give reshad his rematch whit the dragon,and after the dragon KO out again then close the doors on him like dana did to rampage jackson

  • Truth

    The only thing “controversial” about the split decision was that Machida didn’t win an unanimous decision.

    That being said, this could be a real fun matchup. I just hope Hendo brushes up his wrestling and cardio and not let Rashad ragdoll him like Shields (in rd. 2 and 3).

  • Kbroesq

    I don’t necessarily think you can judge this fight by both guys’ last fights. I think Henderson’s fight with Machida would have been more interesting against a different opponent (don’t get me wrong, I love Machida, I think he won that fight, and I think Henderson is just as much to blame for the boring fight).

    Rashad needs to figure out what he wants to do. His last fight may have been humbling and may convince him to train harder and put on a better performance. I like this fight, but I’m glad the UFC didn’t make it a headliner. They need a real draw for the headliner. Hendo/Evans is a great fight that people will want to watch, but it isn’t enough to carry a card based upon their prior respective performances.

  • bmc92

    love the way everybody is calling this a boring fight because of both guys last fights. how many exciting fights have these guys put on for us over the years?? i like both fighters and there is no denying that the last fights they where in are awfully boring fights but that happens sometimes. cant wait to see all you guys jump back on the hendo or rashad bandwagon if thers a great ko or if its fotn and it well could be……

    • Savant

      Rashad alone will make it boring. Every one of his fights has sucked balls after he got ko’d by Machida. Rashad should stick to commentating.

  • Matt

    I love both these dudes, but for this to be a good fight it needs to be 5 rounds

  • Tyme_5

    Interesting fight. Winner gets put back in the title mix, especially Hendo if he wins, and the loser probably takes an exit from elite competition for a while, if not the entire promotion. I would love to see Hendo get the KO but I think Evans’s speed and takedowns will probably take the fight for him.

  • Asa

    rashad has one boring bad performance.fight and ppl say cut him lol. nog was his firsf loss to a non top 3 fighter, machida in the machida era and bones jones who still is clearly the best p4p lol and i hate jones. evans is a beast and former champ whos two of his 3 losses r two future hall of famers. yes nog performance sucked but i think he knows that too and will step it back up. fickle.fans!

  • Dayne Blake

    these dudes better not get paid the most this time, neither of them deserve top for boring ass fights