In the main event bout of UFC 161, Rashad Evans (18-3-1, 13-3-1 UFC) and Dan Henderson (29-10, 6-4 UFC) engaged in a close three-round affair. In the end though, Evans was given a split decision win by the judges. Henderson was able to drop Rashad with a stiff jab late in the first but seemed to fade a bit after that. Evans couldn't get him to the floor, but he used crisp striking and movement to eke out the final two rounds. One judge had it 29-28 for Hendo, but the other two saw it 29-28 for Evans.
The win means that Evans will undoubtedly be staying at light heavyweight, and puts him back on track to maybe get another shot at the title down the road. For Hendo, the loss was a massive setback that all but ended his title hopes.
What was the high point of the fight?
The jab that knocked Evans down. He was clearly wobbly for a little while and Henderson did his best to put him away, but Rashad stood his ground and made it through.
Where do they go from here?
The light heavyweight division is pretty booked up right now, but there looks to be one clear opponent for Evans regardless of all that - Glover Teixeira. A bout between them is a perfect PPV co-main and offers opportunities for both men to jump into the title picture. A win would clearly be more beneficial for Teixiera than Evans, but Rashad needs these types of wins if he hopes to ever face Jon Jones again.
Henderson said that he'd be taking the summer off and would like to fight again before the end of the year. He'll be 43 by then and while he's showing no signs of slowing down, it has to happen sooner or later. A possible opponent for Hendo is really hard to guess at for the moment though. Once the dust has settled on a bunch of top-tier LHW fights over the summer, the picture might become a little clearer.
Watch now, later, or never?
Later. It was a main event of a PPV and all, but it wasn't exactly non-stop action. Good but not great is how I'd label it. If good is enough for you to watch, have at it. But it wasn't must-see TV, that's for sure.