Rashad Evans Knows What He Needs to Do to Beat Dan Henderson at UFC 161

April 16, 2013
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Rashad Evans 478x270Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Rashad Evans takes on former Pride Champion Dan Henderson at UFC 161 on June 15, and Evans knows what he has to do to win.

“With Dan Henderson, there’s no secret, the power of Dan Henderson.  He has a huge right hand, and he doesn’t hide it.  He goes right after you.  He makes sure he lines it up and he lets you know that he’s going to hit you with that big right hand,” said Evans on a recent episode of UFC Tonight on Fuel TV.

“But at the same time, he has great takedown defense.  He has a wrestling background, so he will get you on the ground and do ground and pound.”

Evans is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.  Henderson is coming of a loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157.  Both are in need of a win, especially if they want to remain in the title talk conversation.  Evans feels he knows what he needs to do against the 42-year-old veteran.

“For me, what I need to do is what I always need to do and that’s just fight my fight,” said Evans.  “I need to have my transitions from my punches to my takedowns, and they have to be sharp.  No lazy half shots, none of that pitty-pat punching.  I mean hard punches and hard takedowns.”

UFC 161 takes place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and his headline by an interim UFC bantamweight championship bout between titleholder Renan Barao and challenger Eddie Wineland.

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  • used2bgood

    Rashad needs to redeem himself, but I don`t see this happening vs. Hendo. The old guy is going to knock him out, because no matter how old he is, or how many battles he has been through, Dan has everything he needs to win this one – the heart of a lion.

    • falloniousWolf


      First, Dan has a heart of a human.

      Second, I am not sure if heart of a lion is all that is needed to win fights.

      I want to see Rashad get KOed but I have a feeling he won’t

      • bajafox

        You have obviously never seen Lionheart with Van Damme

    • Cptmats

      “Dan has everything he needs to win this one ”

      So does Rashad and and i think he has a much better chance. Henderson’s wrestling has been mediocre at best,he has been out wrestled by guys like Shields and Rampage. Rashad wil have no prob putting him on his back and has a huge speed advantage as well. I think Henderson’s only real chance is the “Big Right” and i think Rashad is to fast to get caught !

      • Truth

        I do agree w/ you, but it’s so strange that Hendo hasn’t been more effective w/ his wrestling.

        I think against Shields, Hendo just gassed after the 1st rd. and against Rampage, was just overpowered.

        On paper, Hendo’s wrestling skills should be top-notch. He loves striking and going for the KO, so I think that’s a part of “MMA wrestling.” It’s like Hendo gets so caught up w/ going for the KO, he just forgets all his wrestling knowhow and lets guys w/ inferior wrestling skills take him down, like Shogun.

        Hendo still has an iron chin but he has noticeably slowed down and more importantly his cardio is far below that of Rashad. Hendo’ll never give up b/c of his “Lion’s heart” i’ll give you that, but if he doesn’t land his H-bomb in rd. 1, his chances in this fight go WAY down.

  • funkshun

    This could go either way. I see Jackson’s strategic genius using Hendo’s cardio against him.

    • projectchapter2

      Rashad doesn’t train with Jackson anymore. He trains in Florida with the Blackzilians, hence his lack of solid strategy and losing to Lil Nog. A Jackson trained Rashad never loses to Lil Nog.

      • funkshun

        Forgot about that lol

    • Sir_Roy

      Not like Rashad’s cardio is genius either. Henderson is more than able to last a three round war (Shogun anyone?). Assuming the best of both fighters show up for this, it has all the makings of a fantastic fight.

      • falloniousWolf

        Shogun is a fighter on a decline. And his cardio is not the best in the world either.

        Hendo + poor cardio in Shogun + 3 rounds of war =/= Hendo can stand 3 rounds with Rashad without gassing.

  • This fight is very important for Rashad. Being #1 contender for the longest time then losing to Jones and then to Lil Nog. Another loss will set him back big time. Henderson has had his time and done pretty much everything in the sport. Still a dangerous fight for anyone but at 42 he really needed that win again Machida to get his shot already. This division is getting interesting to, we have Phil Davis, Gustaf, Glover Tex, Machida, Gegard. Jones better not go anywhere anytime soon cause there are plenty of fights left in that division.

  • As much as I love HENDO!! WAR HENDO!! His wrestling or lack or it has been horrible and he has made it no secret mentioning that it relates to back problems. Evans is going to take him down at will just like the rampage fight and that is the fight. If hendo can hit him in the first, then he has a chance, but if not then its going to be a boring ass grappling match.

    • falloniousWolf

      It’s crazy that Hendo actually competed at the Olympics in wrestling. He seems like a guy that has not evolved his wrestling game. We see what we think is solid greco clinch, but other than that Hendo relies mostly on striking with opponents.

      If you are a world class wrestler, why not work on your wrestling skills. I am talking about double leg takedowns!!! Chael does a good job of transitioning from greco clinch to shooting.

      • el oh el

        for reals, Dan should work on some double legs. You should tweet him right now, let him know how to develop a better wrestling game

        • I would, but he would probably send the H-Bomb my way LMFAO!!

  • Cereal Killer

    Rashad is this fight away from moving to MW. He could make the cut easy, in my opinion.

  • shakejunt

    great fight on paper, but will probably end up being a snoozer when the time comes.

    round 1: rashad dances as dan stalks him down, rashad gets a late takedown. round 2: rashad gets early takedown, dan is gassed halfway through. round 3: more dancing but dan can’t keep up and gets out pointed.

    • mariof5

      Dats the fight