Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Mixed Martial Arts [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Rashad Evans to face Dan Henderson

By Franklin McNeil
ESPN.com

Two former light-heavyweight champions will return to action on June 15 at UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the promotion announced Tuesday night.

Rashad Evans faces hard-hitting Dan Henderson, while Mauricio "Shogun" Rua takes on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. As impressive as these two bouts are on paper, neither is slated to headline the event, according to UFC.

The promotion has not yet revealed who will compete in the main event.

Both Evans and Henderson will seek to rebound from recent setbacks.

A highly favored Evans was upset by Nogueira on Feb. 2 at UFC 156 in Las Vegas. Evans (17-3-1) has dropped two fights in a row.

Henderson (29-9) lost a unanimous decision on Feb. 23 to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. A win in that fight would have secured a title fight for Henderson.

He was scheduled to face champion Jon Jones at UFC 151 in September 2012, but an injury forced him to withdraw.

Nogueira, who was sidelined for more than a year because of a knee injury, put himself in title contention with the unanimous decision over Evans. He will enter his bout against Rua on a two-fight win streak and a professional record of 21-5.

In his most recent outing on Dec. 8, Rua was on the short end of a unanimous decision to Alexander Gustafsson.

Since losing his title to Jones in March 2011, Rua (21-7) has struggled to find consistency inside the Octagon -- winning just two of his past four fights.

He will seek his second win over Nogueira. The two competed on June 26, 2005, in a Pride Middleweight (205 pounds) Grand Prix quarterfinal bout. Rua won the fight, which took place in Saitama, Japan, by unanimous decision.

UFC 161 will represent the promotion's first visit to Winnipeg. The event will be held at MTS Center, which serves as the home for the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

"Canadians love their MMA and we love bringing it to them," UFC president Dana White said. "There are many Canadian cities on our radar and we hope to visit as many as possible. We're excited to make Winnipeg happen and can't wait to bring a stacked card to the MTS Centre."

UFC is no stranger to Canada. The promotion has held events in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre puts his title on the line March 16 against former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz in Montreal.