Hendo: Rashad a little ‘shy’ with his striking

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Retired welterweight fighter turned broadcaster Frank Trigg interviewed Dan Henderson ahead of his main event fight Saturday night vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 161.

Henderson plans measured aggression, and worries the Evans may prove hesitant to fully engage.

“He’s a better wrestler than most of my opponents have been,” said Henderson. “I think he gets a little nervous sometimes in there. I’m going to be pressuring him, but not overly aggressive, where I end up getting taken down easy.  I want to make sure I pressure and control the middle and wait for him to kind of come at me a little bit, but still just pressure him and be aggressive, but not to where I’m going to be getting taken down.”

Henderson expects Evans’ mind and wrestling to be a constant threat, but says Evans is likely to be more ‘shy’ with his striking.

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying scared.  He’s just a little bit shy when it comes to that.  He’s a little hesitant sometimes.  Maybe he’s thinking too much, I don’t know.”

“I haven’t really seen in any of his other fights where he’s broken from pressure at all.  He just stays in there and does the best he can.  But he doesn’t pull the trigger a lot of times when he should, or he’s not aggressive.  I think just pressuring him and creating action a little bit more than he’s used to might get him a little tired.  And trying to take me down might get him tired as well.”

“I don’t think Rashad is going to be in any better shape than I am at all.”

“He’s kind of a hard guy to figure out what he’s going to do, or how he’s going to come out. He’s hesitant sometimes to really stand and trade with some guys.  But there are other fights where I think he should be taking the guy down and he doesn’t.”

“I know what his strengths are and I know what dangers he possesses, so those are the things that I need to be aware of and then come up with my game plan and just be thinking about my offense, what I’m going to do and not what he can do.”

“I think I can pressure him and still stay in the center and just keep a little bit of pressure on.  He’s not going to run anything close to what Machida did.  When I pressure, when I come at him, I need to be aware of not getting taken down and his counter strikes.  He’s quick and athletic.”

“Anything can happen in a fight.  I’m not discounting the fact that I need to be aware of his striking and his power and his takedowns.”

“It’s really got the potential to be a really good fight if the action kind of gets pushed, and it’s got the potential to be a pretty boring fight too if he takes me down and puts me on my back too much then that slows it way down.”

Transcription via MMAWeekly.