UFC 161 was a general disappointment. Not only were the fights a mixed bag of meh, but very few ranking developments occurred. Sure, you’ve got James Krause emerging as an interesting addition to the lightweight division, but other than that? Alexis Davis isn’t anywhere near challenging for the women’s title. Shawn Jordan isn’t going anywhere fast at heavyweight. And for all the head trauma dealt out to Roy Nelson, people are still debating whether Stipe Miocic should be ranked #10 or #9.
And then there was the main event of the night featuring Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson – a fight so close you might as well have called it a draw. The nature of judging means someone had to win and Rashad Evans ended up getting the nod, but let’s not pretend this legitimately advances him forward as a legitimate contender in the division. One could argue that just stalemating against a guy like Dan Henderson is an impressive feat on its own, and it does remind us that Rashad still has the ability to win against top five opponents. But the ability to dominate? Even Rashad admits he’s still working on that.
“There’s a lot of guys coming in new (at light heavyweight),” said Evans. “There’s a lot of guys that are pretty tough, so it doesn’t really matter who I fight next.”
“It’s hard for me to leave the 205 weight class. I would love to get a shot at Jon Jones again,” he stated. “I would love to get back to where I was and where I can be as far as being spectacular every single fight, but the landscaping has changed. It’s tough.
“I’m gonna have to make some adjustments to my game if I’m gonna be dominant.”
Those adjustments will have to come fast as Rashad may have just matchmaker’d himself into a very bad spot:
“Whoever the UFC puts against me, I’m there. I heard that Glover said he’d like to have a fight with the winner. I’m not calling anybody out, but whoever the UFC says will be a good fight, I’m not turning anybody down. I like the fight.”
I like that fight too, mainly because it puts the toughest challenge for Jon Jones directly in line for a title shot. And yeah, I’m not talking about Rashad Evans here.
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