Evans earned the victory by split decision on Saturday night. Two judges scored the meeting 29-28 in his favor, the third 29-28 for Henderson, according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. Like in most split-decision finishes, the loser could have just as easily been pegged the winner. To erase such doubt surrounding the result—or to raise even more—UFC president Dana White should schedule a rematch between the fighters.
Henderson told Fuel TV after the fight that he thought he won.
Henderson may have not been the only fighter in the Octagon who doubted the result. MMAJunkie.com sure couldn’t tell by Evans’ reaction to the judges’ decision that he believed he won the match.
Rashad Evans looked genuinely surprised he won tonight's UFC 161 main event: http://t.co/64dN3ho7vz— MMAjunkie.com MMA (@MMAjunkie) June 16, 2013
Not only do Henderson and Evans deserve more closure between the two of them, but they aren’t ready to fight light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Henderson hasn’t won a match since 2011. He lost his last two in split decisions against Evans and Lyoto Machida. Meanwhile, Jones boasts triumphs over both fighters, even forcing Machida to submit in the second round of their bout.
Their results against common opponents suggest Henderson doesn’t deserve a title shot. Evans doesn’t deserve one, either. He already faced off against Jones at UFC 145 and lost by unanimous decision.
Evans followed that loss up with another by unanimous decision to Antônio Rogério Nogueira. ESPN suggested the win over Henderson could put Evans back into title contention. If so, he’s several spots back on a waiting list.
Will Henderson and Evans fight again?
Alexander Gustafsson will fight Jones at UFC 165 on Sept. 21. Machida, according to the UFC Fighter Rankings, is the No. 1 contender. Meanwhile, Glover Teixeira is 4-0 in the UFC, with each of his victories coming since May 26 of last year. He is the No. 4 contender.
Nogueira is No. 5 and he’s far more deserving of a shot at Jones than No. 6 Evans. Nogueira not only beat Evans, but he never fought Jones.
Evans and Henderson aren’t remotely ready for a title fight. They should silence the debate from their debatable decision before even thinking about a showdown with Jones.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.