Originally posted on hov-mma  |  Last updated 6/12/13
Card subject to change - It's a disclaimer everyone knows about but hopes won't apply to them. Unfortunately in MMA it's more of a probability than a disclaimer these days especially, it seems, if it's a Pay-Per-View card in Canada. Take UFC 149 in Alberta for example. It went from Anderson Silva v Chael Sonnen as the headlining bout to Jose Aldo v Erik Koch to eventually Urijah Faber v Renan Barao. Not only that but Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Thiago Silva and Shogun Rua were all forced off the card too. The UFC returns to Canada once again this Saturday when UFC 161 goes down in Winnipeg and unsurprisingly the injury bug has struck again. When the card was initially scheduled the interim bantamweight title was due to be on the line with champion Renan Barao defending against Eddie Wineland. A foot injury to Barao put an end to that as Dan Henderson v Rashad Evans was bumped up to the main event with Mauricio Rua v Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in support. Just 11 days out news emerged that “Little Nog” had also been injured and was out of his fight with “Shogun”. As seems to be the norm these days former title challenger Chael Sonnen offered to take the fight with The Brazilian on short notice. An alleged visa issue didn't allow Sonnen to enter Canada and now that fight with Shogun will headline the maiden fight on Fox Sports 1. What's been left is a shell of the original card that, in the end, will indeed be headlined by the intriguing fight between former Pride champion Dan Henderson and former UFC champion Rashad Evans. Both are coming off of losses in their last fights and this is a real battle to stay within touching distance of the title picture. Evans, after losing to Jon Jones and “Little Nog” in his last two fights, is in desperate need of a win to have any hope of getting an eventual title rematch. For Henderson it's a chance to claw his way back to a title fight which was so cruelly taken from him due to injury just a week before his scheduled fight with 205 lb king Jones at the later-to-be-cancelled UFC 151. At 33 Evans has a nine year age advantage on the 42 year-old Henderson but other than that they are very similar. Both are dominant wrestlers who have developed an explosive striking game. Henderson's right hand is widely recognised as one of the most dangerous weapons in MMA having viciously knocked out an array of top fighters including Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko. Evans, though, also possesses a strong striking game knocking Sean Salmon, Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell unconscious. This really is a 50-50 fight in a lot of ways and over three rounds could be a very close encounter should it go to the judges. Both fighters respective losses to Lyoto Machida can tell each other a lot. Henderson's loss to “The Dragon” showed how he struggles with speed and finds it hard to come up with a plan b when the h-bomb doesn't find a home. If Evans can manage to avoid the right hand and beat Henderson for speed in both striking and wrestling he will likely win the fight. On the other hand Evans loss to Machida showed that he is susceptible to being knocked out. If Henderson can land that big right hand and test the chin of Evans he knows the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner has failed a similar test previously. Elsewhere on the card their is a battle of the commonwealth as Canada's Alexis Davis takes on England's Rosi Sexton in what will be the 4th female fight in UFC history. As with a lot of the debuting female UFC fighters both are already hugely experienced veterans of the sport and have landmark victories over big names. Sexton has wins over the likes of Ais Daly and Roxanne Modafferi whereas Davis has defeated a list stars including Amanda Nunes, Julie Kedzie and Shayna Baszler. An interesting statistic coming into this fight is that both competitors have thirteen wins with each having exactly seven coming by way of submission. Should this fight hit the ground expect a high skilled battle between two elite MMA grapplers. The remaining fights on the main card have early knockout written all over them. Firstly, heavyweight knockout artists Pat Barry and Shawn Jordan square off in what promises to be an exciting stand up fight. In their combined thirteen UFC fights eleven have finished inside the distance. Expect this one to be no different. Both men are coming off of winter wins and will be expecting nothing less than a knockout from this one. Whoever emerges victorious will earn his fight back to back career UFC victory. With all the commotion and movement in this card their was a battle between the Jimmo v Pokrajac and Shields v Woodley fights to be bumped up to the main card. In the end Jimmo v Pokrajac won out and it's primed to be a barn burner. Jimmo was riding a seventeen fight win streak entering his last fight with James Te-Huna before losing a unanimous decision after having his opponent in trouble early and will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday night. Pokrajac, on the other hand, is 4-4 (1 no contest) inside the UFC and could very well be fighting for his job. An exciting fight in on the cards. Expect Jimmo to look for the knockout early. That's not to say Shield v Woodley won't be any less of an attraction should it plays out well. Both men are strong wrestlers. Shields has the stronger jiu jitsu. Woodley has the more devastating striking. This clash of Strikeforce veterans is all about control. Shields struggles when he can't take the fight where he wants it but if he can get top position on the ground he could dominate. Woodley, similarly, needs to stuff the takedowns of Shields, take control on the ground if it goes there and show of his ever improving striking arsenal. As the main event of the preliminary card this could be a contender for fight of the night. The co-main event of the evenings business is the fun match-up between Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic. Although it may be a little more fun for Nelson. “Big Country” has won his last three fights all by first round knockout in a combined total of 5 minutes and 52 seconds and is slowly moving his way up the heavyweight ranks. He takes this fight on short notice less than two months after his last appearance. Miocic has an advantage in the fact that he had already been training to fight the returning Soa Palelei on this card but was bumped up due to the injuries. Nelson is a deserved heavy favourite but Miocic is an up-and-coming talent who is not without a chance. Should Miocic, who has only lost one of his ten professional fights, be able to avoid the titanic right hand of Nelson and not get drawn into a trading battle he can be competitive. That is easier said that done though and if Nelson can emerge victorious, in what is the last fight of his current UFC contract, bigger and better things cannot be too far around the corner. Main Card (PPV) Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson - Light Heavyweight Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic - Heavyweight Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac - Light Heavyweight Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton - Women's Bantamweight Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan - Heavyweight Preliminary Card (FX) Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley - Welterweight Sam Stout vs. James Krause - Lightweight Sean Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson - Welterweight Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa - Bantamweight Preliminary Card (Facebook) Mitch Clarke vs. John Maguire - Lightweight Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague - Bantamweight
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