UFC 161 Rewind: Miocic dominates Big Country

Published on Monday, 6/17/13, at 12:12 a.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

The only way to begin any analysis of UFC 161 is by calling the show an immense disappointment. Shawn ‘The Savage’ Jordan, Stipe Miocic and James Krause came away big winners, but there were few highlights on the 11-fight card.

Rashad Evans won a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) over Dan Henderson as a -180 favorite. In the final 48 hours of wagering, Evans went from a short -125 favorite to as high as a -190 ‘chalk’ at a few offshore books. The ‘over’ (2.5 rounds) cashed at -200 odds.

Evans wasn’t overly impressive but he remained on the fringe of title contention with the victory. Henderson floored ‘Suga’ with a stiff left jab and several follow-up shots late in the first round. That flurry allowed Henderson to win the round on all three judges’ scorecards.

But in the second round, Evans’s movement and quickness was the difference in him winning most of the standing exchanges. Henderson had a hard time finding Evans with his famous ‘H-Bomb.’

In the third round, Evans was more active and seemed to have a little more energy. He put Henderson down with a right hand at one point, but Evans was never threatening to put away his opponent.

BrianEdwardsSports scored the fight 29-28 for Evans, who won the second and third rounds after dropping the opening stanza.

What’s next for Evans? I would think Glover Teixeira or Ryan Bader, but there’s also the option of the winner between Shogun Rua and Chael Sonnen.

In the co-main event, Miocic dominated Roy Nelson with better boxing, better movement and, well, better everything. Miocic pulled the upset by unanimous decision (30-27 three times) as a +220 underdog (risk $100 to win $220). Gamblers backing ‘over’ 1.5 rounds (-115 either way) were easy winners.

Miocic busted Nelson up for the entire 15 minutes, peppering him with combinations that would’ve finished most fighters. ‘Big Country’ doesn’t get knocked out, though, but he sure did get ass kicked Saturday night in Winnipep.

Nelson, who took the fight on six weeks of notice and didn’t get a full training camp, just didn’t have the conditioning to compete with Miocic. Nelson was tired by the end of the first round. He had nothing in the gas tank the final round.

BE Sports had it 30-27 for Miocic, whose stock will soar after ending Nelson’s three-fight winning streak.

Nelson was on the last fight of his contract and he recently turned down an offer from the UFC. He loses a ton of bargaining power following that piss-poor performance.

Shawn Jordan needed only 59 second to record the only knockout for the entire card when he trounced Pat Barry. Jordan landed an uppercut that backed up Barry and then charged in and landed another uppercut that sent Barry to the canvas.

Barry covered up right away and Jordan attacked with heavy bombs before the ref intervened. Jordan hooked up his backers as +115 underdog. The ‘under’ (1.5 rounds, -115 both ways) was a winner.

Jordan is now 3-1 in the UFC. Barry’s record fell to 5-6. Although ‘HD’ is just 2-4 in his last six fights, I don’t think he’ll be cut because of so many exciting performances in the past. With that said, stranger things have happened and Barry can’t afford many more losses like that.

The headline fight of the FX portion of the card was a complete snoozer. Tyron Woodley was hesitant to let his hands go all night and spent a good chunk of the fight getting clinched against the fence by Jake Shields, who won a split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28) as a +155 underdog.

Neither Woodley or Shields did much for their status.

The same can’t said for James Krause, who took home a pair of bonuses following his win over Sam Stout. Krause won Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night honors after finishing Stout with a guillotine choke at the 4:47 mark of the third round.

**Octagon Extras**

–Nine of the 11 fights went the distance. The ‘over’ finished 10-1 with the ‘under’ emerging only when Jordan KO’d Barry.

–Daniel Cormier showed a lot of class and took the high road in regards to Roy Nelson’s controversial ‘Uncle Tom’ comment last week. In fact, Cormier went to great lengths to defend Nelson and state that doesn’t think ‘Country’ is racist.

–Krause, who was making his UFC debut against Stout, has won eight consecutive fights and hasn’t tasted defeat since July 29 of 2011.

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