Can’t count out Rashad Evans just yet. After losing his last two fights, he earned a much needed victory Saturday night (June 15) with a split decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 161 in Winnipeg.
The three-round bout was competitive throughout, but it was Henderson who was the first to land some big punches. Late in the first round, he connected with a stiff jab that sent Evans to the floor, an followed by a flurry, but his opponent was able to recover.
By round #3, Henderson was noticeably tired, and Evans took advantage, exploding with various flurries to easily take the final round… and ultimately, the split decision.
“Nobody to blame but myself,” Henderson said. “That third round, I slowed down. I should have got more active. He didn’t hurt me at all. I thought I hurt him bad in the first and second. I thought I had those rounds.”
Evans improved to 18-3-1, and earned his first win since January 2012. He lost unanimous decisions in his last two fights — Jon Jones at UFC 145, and Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC 156.
42-year-old Henderson dropped 29-10. He’s 0-2 in his past two fights, and 1-2 since rejoining the UFC after capturing the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title in 2011.
Other fights at UFC 161 included Stipe Miocic’s unanimous decision win over Roy “Big Country” Nelson; and Ryan Jimmo’s unanimous decision win over Igor Pokrajac.