Rashad Evans has been fending off criticisms for several months now, as a result of his lacklustre, decision loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in February, and the former champ has been adamant that a renewed and confident fighter will take on Dan Henderson at UFC 161. In fact, Evans has also relayed that fans can expect to see some of his “swagger” back on Saturday night, which the 33 year-old vet maintains he’s been missing in recent outings.
So, with all that in mind, it’s interesting to contrast it with recent comments Dan Henderson made about Evans, while appearing on Frank Trigg’s MMA Oddsmakers. The 42 year-old legend praised Evans by saying that he’s likely one of the best wrestlers he’s faced to date, before noting that the former TUF winner “gets a little nervous sometimes in there.” When asked by Trigg about Evans striking, and his willingness (or lack there of) to exchange in the pocket, Hendo stated:
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying scared. He’s just a little bit shy when it comes to that. He’s a little hesitant sometimes. Maybe he’s thinking too much, I don’t know.”
Of course, there’s no doubting the fact that Evans has incredible stopping power, as some folks still haven’t mentally recovered from seeing his brutal KO of Chuck Liddell. That said, he has appeared to be more tentative in recent bouts, compared to outings a couple of years ago when he was effectively mixing in his wrestling to score wins over men like “Rampage” Jackson and Thiago Silva.
“I think that could be why he’s hesitant sometimes to really stand and trade with some guys,”Henderson also said during the interview. “But there are other fights where I think he should be taking the guy down and he doesn’t. He’s kind of a hard guy to figure out what he’s going to do, or how he’s going to come out.”
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the headliner plays out. It could serve as the beginning of a big comeback for Evans. If not, it could prompt his move to 185 pounds.
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