Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans look to put losses behind them

USA TODAY Sports

When Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans square off in the main event of UFC 161, both fighters will attempt to put February losses in their rear-view mirror.

Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight titleholder, looked surprisingly listless in a one-sided loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156.

Henderson, the former PRIDE multi-weight class and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, lost a debatable split decision to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157.

For his part, Henderson said the defeat was the end result of his inability to figure out a non-engaging opponent. Speaking on a Tuesday media teleconference promoting the June 15 event at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Henderson said of Machida, "It's hard to fight a guy who doesn't want to fight you."

"Lyoto is definitely a different fighter than most everybody else who fights in the UFC, Henderson added. "I know, I didn't really perform to my best ... I was disappointed in myself, I knew I could have done some things differently, but you live and learn.'

Evans, meanwhile, never got untracked against "Li'l Nog," dropping across-the-board 29-28 scores in Las Vegas. For his part, Evans said he can't take the time to dwell on what went down.

"I've addressed the issues where I felt I was wrong," Evans said. "For the most part, you have to have a short memory on that sort of thing. If you hold onto it for too long, it can happen again. I've lost before, I know I have to go out there and do it to the best of my abilities. Second-guessing myself won't get me any closer to fighting to the best of my capabilities. I'm over that performance, and I am ready to move put on the fight I trained for, and my preparation for this fight has been great."

It almost goes without saying that this meeting has major implications for both fighters' future. The winner very likely stays in the at the top of the 205-pound weight class, while the loser is just as likely to drop off the radar for potential challengers to champion Jon Jones.

Evans says he's not going to let himself think that far ahead. "The whole title shot is not on my mind," Evans (17-3-1) said. "I just want to go and fight and whatever happens after that happens. I don't really care."

Hendo, though, wasn't afraid to admit he still wants a piece of the champion, in the wake of their infamous, canceled UFC 151 bout.

"Obviously, it was something that was supposed to happen last year and didn't," Henderson (29-9) said. "I'd like to fight Jon Jones. I feel like I have unfinished business there, but I'm 100 percent focused on this fight. Rashad is extremely tough and dangerous. I need to make sure I'm focused."

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