Following a slow start at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Saturday, Evans fought his last two rounds like he knew it.
After Henderson took the first round and a close second, Evans turned it on the the third. That was enough in the three-round main event for Evans to take a pair of 29-28 scores (Henderson took the other card 29-28) in a split-decision victory.
"After getting dropped in the first round, I thought I won the second and I knew I had to come out in the third."
After a feeling-out period in the first round, Henderson dropped Evans with a solid jab. He swarmed Evans (18-3-1) in an attempt to finish the round, but lost his balance in the process. Evans cleared the cobwebs, but it was enough to Hendo to take the round.
"I didn't know who threw it, I thought the referee kicked me or something," said Evans. "After the round I was asking my corner ‘what hit me?'"
The second round was the closest of the fight. Evans picked up steam as the fight wore on, though, and landed his best shots coming off the breaks after the clinch.
The third round was all Evan,s as he was quicker and more technical with his striking, as he slowly wore Henderson down.
Evans outstruck Henderson in the fight, 49-47.
It was a much-needed victory for Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, who had lost his past two fights.
"Only fools rush in with Dan Henderson," Evans said. "He's the kind of guy who's movement, when he's hurt, he can still hit you with a good shot."
The 42-year old Henderson, a former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion, goes back to the drawing board after his second consecutive split-decision defeat.
"There's nobody to blame but myself," said Henderson (29-10). "That third round I slowed down, I should have got a little bit more active. ... I thought I hurt him in the first and second rounds, I thought I had those rounds."