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UFC 161 Aftermath: Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson are what we thought they were

To paraphrase the line that will follow Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green to his grave, Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson are what we thought they were. The light heavyweight showdown at UFC 161, originally scheduled to be the co-feature bout, was bumped up to the main event at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre when headliner of Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland fell out. If the fight had remained a co-feature, the result, with Evans rallying past a slow first round to claim a split decision, would have seemed reasonable enough. But moving the bout up to main-event status increased the hype on the fight and framed it as a battle of two former champions who were looking to stay in the hunt for a bout against Jon Jones. Since the bout went about as expected — a coin flip of a fight going in which led to a coin flip of a decision — it’s going to be hard for the winner to be sold as a title contender again any time soon. Particularly since Evans isn’t really inclined to explore opportunities elsewhere. The thing is, 205 is my home, Evans said. If an opportunity comes at me at 185 and it’s a good opportunity [he’d take it], but for the most part, I feel good at 205 and it’s hard for me to leave the 205 weight class. UFC president Dana White, naturally, was looking on the bright side of Evans’ performance, as he shook off a two-fight losing streak. Tonight was a good night for Rashad because Rashad needed to get his head back in the game, said UFC president Dana White. Obviously he looked good physically – he’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in. He came out and fought a tough guy in Dan Henderson who can turn a fight in one punch. Rashad got hurt with a jab by Dan Henderson. That’s how hard he hits. … Tonight was a good confidence-booster for him, hopefully. The old Rashad used to let his hands go, throw kicks, and hopefully tonight was a step in the right direction for him. And besides, White added in the post-news conference scrum, he’s not sure Evans could drop to 205 if he wanted. I don’t know if Rashad can make ’85, you know what I mean? Rashad looked, he was pretty lean for this fight. He was 206 today and he was ripped. He was in the best shape I’ve seen him in a long time. He’d still have to cut weight to get down to ’85. Then Dan, I don’t know what Dan wants to do. Ah yes, Henderson. He’s also in a tough spot. Since returning from knee surgery, Hendo has come a single round away on one judges’ scorecard from scoring consecutive wins over former UFC light heavyweight champions. Instead, he’s got a pair of split-decision losses on his record. That razor-thin margin of error has him going back to the drawing board. There’s nobody to blame but myself, the former Pride and Strikeforce champ said. That third round I slowed down, I should have got a little bit more active. … I thought I hurt him in the first and second rounds, I thought I had those rounds. As for Evans, he wants a shot at Jones, but he’s also a realist about how the division has shifted. I’d love to get a shot at Jon Jones again, he said. I’d love to get back to where I was and where I can be as far as going out there and being spectacular every single fight. But it’s pretty tough. You have a lot of guys here who are very talented – it’s a different landscape. I’ve got to make some adjustments to my game if I’m going to be dominant. UFC 161 quotes Did you ever watch a Burger King commercial? It’s all handsome guys, skinny, and good-looking girls. Do you think Burger King wants people to think that that’s what you look like if you eat Burger King? That’s the last thing Burger King wants: If you eat Burger King, you’ll look like f—- this guy with the mullet and the gut. Not even Burger King wants that. stamp. — Dana White, on Roy Nelson’s sponsor aspirations. I’m so tired I can barely speak. The adrenaline dump I got when Bruce Buffer said my name was awesome. I wanted to finish the fight in the first round. I landed some big elbows standing, but she’s tough and so hard to finish on the ground.– Alexis Davis summarizes her UFC debut experience. It sucked. S—- fight. Sucked all the life out of that place, I almost went home. — White, making his opinion clear on Jake Shields’ split-decision win over Tyron Woodley. Good call To Herb Dean, who once again proved why he’s the referee best in the business during the Alexis Davis-Rosi Sexton fight. Toward the end of the second round, Davis rained down uncontested punches on Sexton, who was lying face down and covering up. Dean warned Sexton in the closing seconds that he was going to stop the fight if she didn’t show something. But he also knew that Sexton is a durable, tough-to-finish veteran. So he let Sexton finish the round, and she went the distance before losing a decision. Bad call Like a leaky faucet, UFC 161 featured a steady drip of little bad calls here and there. Starting with the opening match of the night, where Dustin Pague was ripped off of a victory against Yves Jabouin. It almost s…

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