Photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports
By Elias Cepeda
UFC 161 had some good fights to watch and learn from but if you’re one of the folks who paid the $217.00 or so that UFC pay per views now go for, and if you were drunk (those who do the former are often the latter during bouts) you may have been a bit disappointed with the action. In the main event, Rashad Evans turned up the heat in the third round against Dan Henderson and earned a split decision win.
The fight was close, and fought in spurts, but Evans looked impressive in coming back from being knocked down in the first round and in tiring Hendo and working the former Olympic wrestler over in his own sweet spot – the clinch. Evans gets back on the winning track but looks a long way from being able to challenge champion Jon Jones as he says he wants to once more.
Henderson certainly did not embarrass himself – he never has – but for the second consecutive fight, the forty two year-old looked to be the weaker and slower fighter in losing a close decision. Maybe that has to do with his age, maybe it has to do with the fact that both fights occurred against top light heavyweights.
Put the hard-earned legend of Henderson aside for a moment and remember that the man is a middleweight that, for reasons of crazy ability and guts, fights light heavyweights and heavyweights. Henderson is no where near a title shot at this point, in any division. It will be interesting to see how much motivation he has to keep fighting without more gold in his reach.
Stipe Miocic (right) lands an uppercut on Roy Nelson | Photo via BloodyElbow
The Fight of The Night came on the under card. James Krause and Sam Stout duked it out for almost three full rounds before Krause caught “Hands of Stone” in a guillotine choke, forcing the submission. Each man was awarded an $50,000 for producing the Fight of The Night.
Krause, who had the card’s only submission, also earned an additional $50,000 for Submission of The Night. UFC 161′s only knockout of the night won, surprise, Knockout Of The Night.
Shawn Jordan used a nasty punch combo to put Pat Barry down early in the first round of their heavyweight clash. Way too many left hand hooks to a grounded Barry brought about the stoppage.
Jordan now has won two straight and is $50,000 richer.
Miocic hadn’t fought in nine months, since getting knocked out by Stefan Struve, and both men took this fight on relatively short notice. Miocic controlled the grappling, avoided Nelson’s over hand right and tagged and moved over and again for three rounds, leaving “Big Country” gasping for air and unable to hold his arms up.
The win is Davis’ third straight. Sexton’s loss snapped her own three fight win streak.