On paper, few people would argue that Rashad Evans doesn’t have the tools to beat Dan Henderson at UFC 161. That doesn’t mean he’s an overwhelming favorite or anything, but he possesses solid wrestling skills, a punishing top game and has showcased knockout power. That said, the former champ has looked tentative in recent outings, and while champion Jon Jones has a way of making people do that, Evan’s recent performance and loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira certainly surprised many observers.
In an recent interview Dan Henderson did with fellow UFC vet Frank Trigg, the legendary fighter made some interesting comments about Evans and in particular, his tentativeness . Henderson credited Evans for being a “better wrestler” than most of the men he’s faced to date, before noting (quote via MMA Weekly.com):
“I think he gets a little nervous sometimes in there. I’m going to be pressuring him, but not overly aggressive where I end up getting taken down easy. I want to make sure I pressure and control the middle and wait for him to kind of come at me a little bit, but still just pressure him and be aggressive, but not to where I’m going to be getting taken down.”
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying scared. He’s just a little bit shy when it comes to that,” Henderson relayed about Evans’ striking. “He’s a little hesitant sometimes. Maybe he’s thinking too much, I don’t know.”
Of course, Evans is the same man who has had his KO wins over Chuck Liddell and Sean Salmon looped endlessly on highlight reels, but those victories took place several years ago. So in other words, Hendo does have a point; the question is, however, whether Evans will change that come Saturday night? As Henderson also noted: “He’s kind of a hard guy to figure out what he’s going to do, or how he’s going to come out.”
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