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UFC 161 Lowkick Staff Predictions
Mike Drahota: This fight has a ton on the line for both Henderson and Evans. Each fighter will need a win if they want any to sniff a title shot ever again. There are questions mark about Hendo after his lackluster showing against Lyoto Machida, and there are perhaps even more questions about Evans after his even worse performance against Rogerio Nogueira.
Evans has been talking like his fire has been restored, but that’s a cliché phrase, and tough to believe until it’s actually proven. I think he does possess the wrestling to control the former Olympian Henderson throughout, but he strangely sometimes goes away from it. Henderson does the same with his, preferring to obviously let his thunderous right hand do his work these days. I’m just not sure he’s back to 100% after his knee injury canceled UFC 151. He is 42 years old, after all. That said, I’ll go with Rashad Evans by unanimous decision.
Rory Kernaghan: Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson is another interesting matchup. Both guys like to stand and bang, and both guys have awesome wrestling. As is usually the case with two wrestlers, I expect this fight to take place mainly on the feet. Hendo has an atomic right hand, but Evans is very well rounded in the striking department. he has a powerful head kick and his boxing can be pretty tough to handle when he is on form. The key here is whether we see a motivated Suga. Word from his camp is that Rashad is training like a monster for this one. Hendo’s chin is solid , but he can be rocked ergo he can be finished. I expect Evans to outwork Hendo and score a late TKO over a tired Henderson. Evans def. Hendo by TKO round 3
Brian Cox: Henderson / Evans is a tough call. I believe both men possess the tools to beat the other man. Of the two, Rashad has the larger tool belt. If Henderson wins, it will be because he catches Rashad on the fence and does it with a right. I think that’s the only way he wins. I see no points’ decision victory for Hendo. Suga on the other hand has three different ways to win, a points’ decision (by staying away from Dan), a Chuck Liddell (KO punch) moment or another Sean Salmon (KO head kick) moment. Of those three I think he’s more apt to land that head kick. He likes to use it in close and he’s good at throwing it. He used it a couple of times in his last fight against Little Nog and nearly caught him, too. That said, my gut feeling is that Hendo will rule the day and catch Rashad and he’ll do it in the 2nd round and with that big right, a la Michael Bisping.