Last week, we saw Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira — slow and aged beyond his actual years — get tapped out in anti-climatic fashion by Fabricio Werdum. Last night, Jon Fitch was put to sleep by Josh Burkman. A lot of fighters that we have grown up with are having the years catch up with them. Some of them, like Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture, have already called it a career and ridden off into the sunset. A few, like Vitor Belfort, have defied the odds and are having the best wins of their career at an advanced age.
We will see where Rashad Evans (17-3-1) and Dan Henderson (29-9) stand in their fight later tonight. In Evans’ last outing, he looked shot; losing a tedious and awful fight to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The most memorable part of that fight was my friend, with a bironga in his hand, growing impatient with how bad that fight was. Did Evans just have a bad night with Lil’ Nog?
For Henderson, that same month, he didn’t fare that much better. He lost a boring fight of his own, looking flat-footed and frustrated against a cautious Lyoto Machida. Henderson, who has an argument for being the best American MMA fighter of all time, is on borrowed time in 2013. Forty-two-years old, he still packs a hell of a punch but his time is coming to an end, sooner rather than later.
I’m having a difficult time getting poppin’ — as Teddy Long would say — about this fight. I like both fighters, and I would place them both in my top ten of light-heavyweight at this point. However, stylistically speaking, I don’t see these two gelling in a compelling or entertaining match-up. I could be wrong; I would love to be wrong. Who wouldn’t want to see a fun fight as opposed to a stinkfest? A big power punch by Henderson or a sudden strike by Evans could make me eat my words if we see a surprising KO. But I just don’t see it. I think Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton are going to steal the show and get the “Fight of the Night” bonus. I think Roy Nelson is getting the “Knockout of the Night”, unless Pat Barry does something memorable. Not sure who’s picking up the “Submission of the Night”, but maybe Alexis Davis?
It’s going to take a lot for both fighters to move back into title contention. A boring decision won’t help either man here tonight. If they are serious about wanting fight again for the championship, they are going to have to give us something that excites us about seeing them compete otra vez. Si no, oh well.