UFC 161 features a pivotal light heavyweight bout between heavy-hitters Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson. Both fighters are fighting for their relevancy in the division and are coming off losses, so their will to win will be at an all-time high.
Coming into this bout, Evans sports an overall record of 17-3-1. In his UFC tenure, he has beaten the likes of Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Tito Ortiz and Phil Davis. He is a former light heavyweight champion, and is coming off of two deflating losses to Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. If Evans wants to remain relevant in the division in hopes of getting another shot at the belt, then he will need to have a sterling performance this weekend.
Henderson comes into this bout with a record of 29-9. He is a former Pride and Strikeforce champion, and has beat notable fighters in Fedor Emelianenko, Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. Despite being 42 years old, he has been able to hang with the best of them, and still has been able to show his knockout power. The question is, can he land his heavy punches on Evans who also has power in his hands?
Evans is one of the best MMA wrestlers in the division, and he will need to use his speed to force Henderson off his game. If he can do this, then he has a very good shot at winning. For Henderson, he needs to keep the fight standing and look to land power shots on Evans, who has been knocked out in the past.