Last night’s match-up at UFC 161 between light heavyweights Rashad Evans–Dan Henderson served as a relatively strong showing for both men though neither necessarily looked dominant. However, in the eyes of many fans, a more decisive result would have been produced had the bout been booked as a five-round affair.
UFC President Dana White addressed the notion with Fuel TV after the card’s conclusion, saying he had no regrets about the fight’s format.
“You can’t ask guys to fight five rounds when the fight’s almost here and they’ve signed for a three-round fight and have been training for a three-round fight,” said White matter-of-factly.
UFC 161 was initially set to feature a bantamweight title-fight in the main event before interim champion Renan Barao was injured less tha a month ago. As a result, Henderson and Evans were slotted into the headlining spot.
In terms of the actual tilt, White was fine with judges awarding Evans the Split Decision win and generally pleased by what he saw from the former champion in comparison to the last time “Sugar” ‘Shad took to the Octagon.
“I think Rashad won. There’s no doubt beating a guy like Dan Henderson means something,” White explained before adding he felt there was still room for improvement. Rashad needs to get that killer instinct back. He got his head back, physically came back, and he looked great tonight. He’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in. But he’s gotta get that killer instinct back.”
Meanwhile, when it came to Henderson, White shrugged off calls for the 42-year old’s retirement by pointing to how competitive the clash with Evans was.
“This fight could have gone either way tonight. Dan didn’t come in here and get viciously knocked out. It wasn’t a one-sided, lopsided fight. You never know. Dan Henderson lands that right hand on anybody, anybody can go out,” acknowledged White.
White’s complete reaction to UFC 161 can be seen below: