Rashad Evans pulls off win, while Canadians dominate UFC 161

Dan Henderson (left) and Rashad Evans at UFC 161 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.  Saturday, June15,...

Dan Henderson (left) and Rashad Evans at UFC 161 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Saturday, June15, 2013. (QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:45 AM ET

WINNIPEG - UFC legend Rashad Evans snapped a two-fight losing streak by split decision over crowd favourite Dan Henderson at UFC 161.

Now, as UFC president Dana White said earlier in the week, Henderson may never get another title shot after his second straight loss.

The much-anticipated co-main event between heavyweight and fan favourite Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson and Stipe Miocic delivered on Saturday night, but the fighter the fans wanted to see win did not. It was a slugfest from the get-go, but Nelson wasn’t the one doing the hammering.

Miocic pounded Nelson with lefts and rights for all three rounds inside the Octagon at the jam-packed MTS Centre, but Big Country just wouldn’t drop. Nelson was labouring hard over the final 10 minutes, and the result was unanimous. Miocic’s 80-inch reach was too much, and he earned the unanimous decision over Nelson, the fan favourite who got a massive ovation when he made his way to the Octagon.

“I guess this was the biggest win of my career,” Miocic said. “I hit him with some big shots and he took them. I’m a Golden Gloves boxer. I believe in my boxing ability. I’m glad to have put my last fight behind me. This was a big fight for me, and I’m very happy I came through it with the win.”

Miocic, who ran his record to 4-1, went on the run briefly in the third round, drawing some boos, and Nelson seemed to get some energy from it, connecting with a combination and then another left. The crowd started chatting “Country! Country!” and after a brief moment on the ground, they got back up with two minutes to go in the three-round bout.

The bottom line is Miocic avoided Big Country’s massive right hand, and now Nelson’s contract with the UFC is up. He and UFC president Dana White have never seen eye to eye, so who knows what the fugue holds for Big Country.

“I’m just annoyed,” Nelson said. “I’m fine. I’m going to be sore tomorrow, but he didn’t hurt me. Sore and annoyed.”

CANADIAN FIGHTERS COME OUT ON TOP

The Canadians dominated the rest of the card, posting a 6-1 record. The boys from the Great White North won their first four fights, including hometown boy Roland Delorme’s unanimous decision over American Edwin Figueroa.

“Today is euphoric for me,” Delorme said afterwards, his face red and blue in places after the spirited bout. “It feels like my career has come full circle.”

The home winning streak was snapped when Sam Stout of London, Ont., had to tap out against American James Krause with 13 seconds left in the third round thanks to a guillotine choke.

Jake Shields won a controversial split decision over Tyron Woodley in an all-American battle, and not even UFC president Dana White could understand what the Manitoba judges were thinking.

“Does anyone think Jake won that fight!?! WTF???” White tweeted. “Woodley got ROBBED!!”

Alexis Davis made a little history when she became the first Canadian woman to win a bout on home soil. Davis survived a couple of rough moments early to score a unanimous decision over England’s Rosi Sexton in the UFC debut for both. It was an entertaining tilt that got the crowd quite involved.

The victory will keep Davis in the conversation for a title shot down the road.

“I’m so tired I can barely speak,” Davis said. “The adrenaline pump I got when Bruce Buffer said my name was awesome.”

UFC 161 Results

Main card

Rasha Evans def. Dan Henderson - split decision

Stipe Miocic def. Roy Nelson - unanimous decision

Ryan Jimmo defl Igor Pokrajac - unanimous decision

Alexis Davis def. Rosi Sexton - unanimous decision

Shawn Jordan def. Pat Berry - TKO

Undercard

Jake Shields def. Tyron Woodley - split decision

James Krause def. Sam Stout - submission (guillotine)

Sean Pierson def. Kenny Robertson - majority decision

Roland Delorme def. Edwin Figueroa - unanimous decision

Mitch Clarke def. John Maguire - unanimous decision

Yves Jabouin def. Dustin Pague - split decision

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/PentonKirk


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