rashad-evans-34.jpgWINNIPEG – The other side of the coin for Rashad Evans on Saturday night was not going to be a good thing. And he was just one judge and one round away from it.

Evans (18-3-1 MMA, 13-3-1 UFC) took a split decision against Dan Henderson (29-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in the main event of UFC 161, which took place at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. In a close back-and-forth light heavyweight fight, just a few moves different here or there could’ve been the difference between Evans snapping a two-fight skid – or Evans going down for the third straight time.

It was the second straight close split-decision loss for Henderson after a February setback against Lyoto Machida at UFC 157, and with two straight losses, the chances of Henderson competing for a UFC title ever again dropped to slim – as would former champ Evans’ had he been on the other end of the split call.

UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after UFC 161 that it had no problem whichever way the scores would’ve been read off.

“There is and there isn’t (controversy),” White said. “The fight could’ve gone either way. If they said Dan won, I wouldn’t have been shocked, either. It’s just one of those fights that was so close it could’ve gone either way.”

But one thing that can’t go either way, according to White, is the importance of the fight for Evans. The Season 2 heavyweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” and former light heavyweight champ lost a title fight to Jon Jones at UFC 145. Then in December at UFC 155, he was upset by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who took a decision win from Evans.

Leading up to the fight against Henderson, Evans talked about regaining his swagger. And if it wasn’t fully back on Saturday, White hopes it will be soon.

“Tonight was a good night for Rashad because Rashad needed to get his head back in the game,” White said. “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.”

Evans has mentioned before a potential to drop down to middleweight. But he shrugged off the suggestion of that possibility after the fight. He may have some more challenges left at 205 – and he knows he’d like to fight Jones again, which won’t happen if he moved to 185.

But right now, he says he’s only thinking about fighting and trying to do it now for the love of the game.

“The thing is, 205 is my home,” Evans said. “If an opportunity comes at me at 185 and it’s a good opportunity … but for the most part, I feel good at 205 and it’s hard for me to leave the 205 weight class. I’d love to get a shot at Jon Jones again. 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.”

White isn’t so sure Evans could make middleweight to begin with.

“I don’t know if Rashad can make ’85,” White said. “I mean, he was pretty lean for this fight. He weighed 206 and he was ripped. He was in the best shape I’ve seen him in in a long time, and he still has to cut a lot of weight to get down to ’85.”

So it’s not title shots against Anderson Silva that Evans has on the mind, and though he mentioned Jones, he says he’s not thinking about a title fight against him, either.

Part of regaining his swagger, apparently, was losing some of it, as well.

“I’d rather just win my next fight and we’ll see what happens after that,” he said. “I just want to just enjoy competing. There are a lot of up-and-coming guys that are pretty tough and we’ll see if they mix it up and sustain.”

For complete coverage of UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rashad Evans Faces Daniel Kelly at UFC 209 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 9 days ago
  • 13 views

Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will make his middleweight debut at UFC 209 against Australia's Daniel Kelly UFC officials announced on Tuesday. read news >>

UFC's Alex Garcia wants to fight Colby Covington after botched fight booking

  • 9 days ago
  • 7 views

UFC welterweight Alex Garcia was supposed to fight Colby Covington this past June at UFC Fight Night 89. Ten days before the event, he told MMAjunkie Radio, he injured himself. But he’s still into th read news >>

Video: Before UFC Fight Night 105 main event, watch Travis Browne's KO win over Josh Barnett

  • 8 days ago
  • 8 views

It was December 2013 when Travis Browne knocked out Josh Barnett with elbows inside the first minute of Round 1 to notch his third win in a row.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 105's Cezar Ferreira: 'I can break' Elias Theodorou and become elite

  • 8 days ago
  • 2 views

Cezar Ferreira, currently on a three-fight winning streak, is making the trek to Canada looking to break into an echelon of success he’s yet to experience in the 185-pound division.Filed under: News, read news >>

Ex-champ Georges St-Pierre and UFC reportedly agree to terms for return

  • 8 days ago
  • 70 views

Former longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has reportedly agreed to terms on a new contract with the promotion.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Georges St-Pierre's UFC Return is Imminent | MMAWeekly.com

  • 8 days ago
  • 17 views

Georges St-Pierre has reportedly agreed to terms with the UFC, making his return to the Octagon imminent. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2384 with Joseph Benavidez and Todd Grisham

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Joseph Benavidez and Todd Grisham.Filed under: News, Radio, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 105 pre-event facts: It's Derrick Lewis, the UFC's most active heavyweight

  • 8 days ago
  • 9 views

The UFC makes its 23rd trip to Canada with a special Sunday night showcase when UFC Fight Night 105 takes place at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Check out 45 pre-event facts.Filed under: Featured, Ne read news >>

Speed Bag: UFC champ Germaine de Randamie's plans? Yeah, that's not how you do this

  • 8 days ago
  • 7 views

New UFC women’s featherweight Germaine de Randamie’s short title reign has already been a curious one – mostly of her own doing.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Conor McGregor Tells GQ He'd Punch Floyd Mayweather's Head into the Bleachers

  • 8 days ago
  • 7 views

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has insisted he would knock Floyd Mayweather's head "clean off his shoulder" and "into the bleachers" if the two were ever to go toe-to-toe. Speculation has ra read news >>