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Thursday, 06/13/2013, 11:45 am

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Dan Henderson Says He Plans on Rashad Being “Shy” With His Striking at UFC 161

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| With UFC 161 now just about two days away Dan Henderson is healthy, peaking, and ready to topple Rashad Evans in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on Saturday night. The main-event between these two light heavyweights should be a fight that proves top contention for either man, although both men are coming off of rather boring decision losses. Don’t expect that same type of boring pace from Henderson in this fight though. He recently talked with retired welterweight fighter turned broadcaster, Frank Trigg, about the upcoming bout, his game plan heading into UFC 161 and how he thinks Evans will approach the fight. Here are some of the highlights from Henderson’s interview with Frank Trigg:

Transcription via MMAWeekly:

“He’s a better wrestler than most of my opponents have been,” said Henderson. “I think he gets a little nervous sometimes in there. I’m going to be pressuring him, but not overly aggressive, where I end up getting taken down easy.  I want to make sure I pressure and control the middle and wait for him to kind of come at me a little bit, but still just pressure him and be aggressive, but not to where I’m going to be getting taken down.”

Henderson expects Evans to approach the fight like a thinking fighter relying on his wrestling. That, he explained, will lead to ‘Suga’ Rashad being a little gun-shy with his punches. Henderson continued,

“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.”

“I haven’t really seen in any of his other fights where he’s broken from pressure at all.  He just stays in there and does the best he can.  But he doesn’t pull the trigger a lot of times when he should, or he’s not aggressive.  I think just pressuring him and creating action a little bit more than he’s used to might get him a little tired.  And trying to take me down might get him tired as well.”

“I don’t think Rashad is going to be in any better shape than I am at all.”

“He’s kind of a hard guy to figure out what he’s going to do, or how he’s going to come out. He’s hesitant sometimes to really stand and trade with some guys.  But there are other fights where I think he should be taking the guy down and he doesn’t.”

“I know what his strengths are and I know what dangers he possesses, so those are the things that I need to be aware of and then come up with my game plan and just be thinking about my offense, what I’m going to do and not what he can do.”

“I think I can pressure him and still stay in the center and just keep a little bit of pressure on.  He’s not going to run anything close to what Machida did.  When I pressure, when I come at him, I need to be aware of not getting taken down and his counter strikes.  He’s quick and athletic.”

“Anything can happen in a fight.  I’m not discounting the fact that I need to be aware of his striking and his power and his takedowns.”

“It’s really got the potential to be a really good fight if the action kind of gets pushed, and it’s got the potential to be a pretty boring fight too if he takes me down and puts me on my back too much then that slows it way down.”

 Henderson will undoubtedly have his hands full going into Saturday’s fight with the former UFC LHW Champion, Rashad Evans. However, Henderson knows that he possesses the advantage in the power and will be looking to land that fierce ‘H-Bomb’ that every fighter fears and every fan loves to watch land.

To see how it all goes down don’t miss UFC 161 live on PPV this Saturday and for all your event and fight updates, play-by-plays and recaps be sure to stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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