Henderson had never been stopped by strikes, and that record remains intact, as he took some solid shots from Evans, and even dropped the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion with shots of his own in the first round, but Evans did enough to outpoint Henderson in the minds of two judges.
Round 1 went to Henderson, and the third round almost certainly belonged to Evans, who pushed the pace and controlled the action against a tired Henderson. The questionable round was the second. Judges are reluctant to score rounds 10-10, which is probably the score that the round deserved. But perhaps because of his quick takedown early in the round, or perhaps because he was more aggressive, the round went to Evans, who improved his UFC record to 13-3-1, and his overall record to 18-3-1. Henderson's career mark dropped to 6-4 in UFC, 29-10 overall.
The main event decision was the ninth on the eleven-fight show, and capped a lackluster event.
Roy Nelson took his co-main event bout with Stipe Miocic on short notice, and after turning down a contract extension from UFC, choosing to enter the last fight on his deal as a free agent. It would appear that Nelson will regret that decision, as his poor showing against Miocic will hurt his wallet for sure.
Nelson appeared to be in worse shape than usual, and tired early on. Miocic fought a smart fight and was better at every aspect of the game than Nelson, en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Main Card Recap:
Light Heavyweight bout: Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson
Round 1: Evans landed a jab. Henderson moved in, looking to push the pace, but Evans got the better of a striking exchange. Evans landed a good combination. Henderson moved in and Evans ducked out of the way of his big right hand. A grapple and a clinch after a failed takedown attempt by Evans. Evans ducked away from a right hand on the break. Henderson caught Evans with a shot that stunned him. Evans stumbled, but was quickly back up. Henderson looked to follow up, but was unable to capitalize.
Round 2: Evans got a takedown early, but Henderson got to his feet quickly. They grappled and clinched against the fence. Henderson with a knee. Evans caught him with a right hand on the break. Henderson landed a knee. Evans got the better of a quick exchange. They clinched. Evans landed a shot on the break. Evans missed with an overhand right. A clinch, and Henderson landed a short elbow that caught Evans.
Round 3: Henderson moved in, but could not land. Evans landed a combination that rocked Henderson, but Henderson exhibited that legendary chin,and stayed upright. Evans shot, but Henderson stuffed him. Another clinch against the fence. Evans was working, trying to tire Henderson out. Evans landed on the break, but it wasn't a clean shot. Another clinch. Both guys landing some short strikes in close quarters. A forearm shot by Henderson. Evans with a right hand on the break.
Result: Rashad Evans defeated Dan Henderson via split decision (29-28, 298-28, 28-29).
Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic
Round 1: Miocic avoided a couple of early takedown attempts, and the big right hands that Nelson tried to follow them up with. Miociclanded a right hand. They traded leg kicks. Nelson ate a right hand after he missed with his big overhand right. Miocic landed a big combination. He sprawled to avoid a takedown and landed a shot on Nelson on the ground, but Nelson scrambled back to his feet. Miocic landed a jab and a hook. He landed an elbow and a jab against the fence, as Nelson found himself fighting for his life. Nelson was able to turn Miocic around and into the fence, stopping the onslaught. He survived the round.
Round 2: Miocic landed a sharp right hand and a crisp knee, as Nelson stumbled around the cage, clearly fatigued. Miocic landed a left jab. Miocic started to light him up with combinations and backed him into the fence. Elbows by Miocic, as Nelson was able to get out of the clinch and back to the center. Miocic circled, perhaps looking to further exhaust Nelson. Miocic shot, but Nelson stuffed him. Nelson missed with an uppercut. Constant movement from Miocic, who fought a really smart fight. Clinch against the fence as Miocic was content to lean on Nelson and tire him out.
Round 3: Nelson came out swinging, but he was just too slow for Miocic, who continued to land combinations, then dance out, forcing Nelson to move. Nelson had a burst of energy and tried to land a combination, but Miocic got on his bicycle, almost literally, and ran away. A grapple and a clinch against the fence, with Miocic leaning on Nelson. The referee called for a break. Nelson landed an uppercut but Miocic again ran away. Miocic landed a left hand.
Result: Stipe Miocic defeated Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Light Heavyweight bout: Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac
Round 1: A clinch against the fence was broken up by Yves Lavigne in the first 45 seconds. They immediately clinched again after the break. Again, Lavigne broke it up. Aminute later, rinse and repeat. And again. Then there was an exchange of kicks that didn't land. Finally, with 20 seconds left in the round, they traded a couple of hard punches that landed. Wow.
Round 2: Jimmo hurt Pokrajac with a shot and pounced on him. He ended up in guard, with Pokrajac pushed up against the fence. Jimmo stayed on top, not really doing anything, but no standup called for by Lavigne. Pokrajac appeared to be setting up a kimura, but on the ground, Jake Shields he is not. Jimmo stood up and tried to land some diving shots, while Pokrajac tried to hit him with some upkicks. Jimmo eventually settled for side control on the ground, but refused to do anything with that position. I hate this fight.
Round 3: They grappled and clinched against the fence again. Pokrajac got a trip takedown, but Jimmo ended up on top, in guard. Pokrajac got back to his feet with less than a minute left in the fight. Another clinch, another separation. Jimmo clinched again. He had a smart gameplan, it just happened to be a gameplan that led to an incredibly dull fight.
Result: Ryan Jimmo defeated Igor Pokrajac vua unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Women's Bantamweight bout: Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton
Round 1: A wild exchange in the center with both fighters landing before Davis bulled Sexton into the fence. Davis tried to grab a clinch and take Sexton down, but Sexton grabbed an overhook and fought it off. The clinch broke. Sexton shot for a takedown. Davis defended it and briefly took Sexton's back, but ended up pulling guard. From guard she tried to apply a triangle choke, but she couldn't and started eating shots from Sexton. The horn sounded. Tough round to call, in that Sexton was playing defense for much of the round, but Davis made some key mistakes and ended up taking damage as a result.
Round 2: Sexton took Davis down against the fence, ending up in half-guard. Davis swept her and ended up on top in Sexton's guard. Davis looked to posture up as Sexton tried to maintain head and arm control of her opponent. Davis landed a couple of elbows from the top as Sexton tried to stay active. Davis was able to posture up and land some punches, which led Sexton to give up her back. Davis flattened her out and threw some light shots, none of which seemed to be hurting Sexton, but Sexton wasn't really defending herself. Referee Herb Dean warned Sexton to defend herself, and looked close to stopping the fight, but Sexton survived the round.
Round 3: Sexton came out moving better, but both fighters looked tired. Davis shot, but Sexton stuffed the attempt. Sexton sprawled, but Davis spun out and ended up taking Sexton's back. Sexton turned and ended up in Davis' guard. Sexton postured up and landed a shot, but Davis kept a very high guard and was able to maintain good control of Sexton's head and arms. Davis made a mistake and Sexton briefly looked to have Davis' back before Davis slipped out and ended up in Sexton's guard. Davis stood up. Sexton threw some upkicks, but didn't land any. Davis was clearly the better fighter, but couldn't finish and doesn't look to be in the top tier of the women's division.
Result: Alexis Davis defeated Rosi Sexton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27).
Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan
Round 1: Barry offered a right hand and a leg kick, but Jordan wasn't phased. He caught Barry with a combination, landing several shots that landed near the left temple. Barry crumpled to the mat and Jordan finished him with punches on the ground.
Result: Shawn Jordan defeated Pat Barry via TKO (punches) at 0:59 of round 1.
Jake Shields def. Tyron Woodley via split decision
James Krause def. Sam Stout via submission (guillotine)
Sean Pierson def. Kenny Robertson via majority decision
Roland Delorme def. Edwin Figueroa via unanimous decision
Mitch Clarke def. John Maguire via unanimous decision
Yves Jabouin def. Dustin Pague via split decision