Rashad Evans snapped a two fight losing streak with a split decision win over Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 161 in Winnipeg.
They felt each other out for the first 50 seconds of the fight before they began to engaged. Evans was able to land a combination and got out of the pocket before Henderson could counter. After exchanging strikes for a couple of minutes, Henderson landed the first significant strike as he had Evans on his heels. Evans would be able to recover before Henderson could get a finish.
After the first round was over, Evans corner told him to take the fight to the ground which he did in the opening minute of the second round. Henderson was able to get back to his feet and they grappled against the fence. Each fighter landed a significant punch with each guy landing a right hand and they ended up separating and resetting. Evans began to push forward and landed a right hand. With 30 seconds left in the round, Evans landed a combination and attempted to get the fight to the ground but Henderson stopped the attempt as the round closed out.
As the final round opened, Evans appeared to be the fresher fighter and landed his best combination of the fight in the first minute of the round. At the two minute mark of the round, Evans looked for a single leg takedown but Henderson was able to stop the attempt. While they were clinching against the fence, Evans was able to land a combination which Henderson responded to with his own combination. They continued to strike with each other until the final minute when Evans looked to take the fight to the ground. He was unable to get the fight to the ground and the fight went to the judges.
Two of the three judges scoring the fight gave the fight to Evans (18-3-1) and he gets his first win since the beginning of last year when he defeated Phil Davis. Henderson (29-10) has now lost back to back fights and this defeat likely ends his chance for a shot at a UFC title.
Stipe Miocic upsets Roy Nelson
Stipe Miocic was able to execute his gameplan to score the biggest victory of his career as he defeated Roy Nelson by unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC 161.
The bout opened with each fighter swinging away and both guys attempted to take the fight to the ground. Miocic continued to circle away from the right hand of Nelson and clinched up with him against the cage. Nelson would break away from the clinch. As the fighters exchanged strikes, Miocic began to land combinations and caused Nelson to attempt a takedown. He stopped the attempt and they continued their boxing fight. Miocic landed a right hand that rocked Nelson and he landed several short strikes against the fence. Nelson would be able to survive the flurry of punches and make it out of the opening round.
As the second round started, Miocic continued to control the fight as he was able to land strikes and get out of danger before Nelson could land a punch. Miocic continued to land his strikes and Nelson appeared to be gassing out. Miocic landed a combination with 30 seconds left in the round and heads into the third round up two rounds.
In the final round, Miocic continued to control the bout and Nelson was unable to land his big right hand. Every time Nelson appeared to be getting his offense going, Miocic was able to break away and reset. Miocic would continue to land his jab and he would go on to win the fight by unanimous decision on the judges scorecards. The lost for Nelson snaps a three fight winning streak and all of his defeats in the UFC have come by unanimous decision.
The complete UFC 161 Results are below:
Rashad Evans def. Dan Henderson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Stipe Miocic def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ryan Jimmo def. Igor Pokrajac via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexis Davis def. Rosi Sexton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
Shawn Jordan def. Pat Barry via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, :59
Jake Shields def. Tyron Woodley via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
James Krause def. Sam Stout via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 4:47
Sean Pierson def. Kenny Robertson def. majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Roland Delorme def. Edwin Figueroa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mitch Clarke def. John Maguire via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Yves Jabouin def. Dustin Pague via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)