The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday announced its first foray into Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. UFC 161, slated for June 15 at the MTS Centre, doesn’t yet have a main event, but the fight card is quickly stacking up.
UFC officials confirmed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Sao Palelei vs. Stipe Miocic earlier in the day, but Tuesday evening added Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans to the UFC 161 fight card.
UFC president Dana White publicly targeted the fight about a week ago on UFC Tonight, but later added the caveat that the bout was pending Henderson gaining medical clearance.
Henderson’s medical status wasn’t referenced, but UFC officials announced the bout late Tuesday via the promotion’s official Twitter account.
Henderson (29-9) was on target to finally score the UFC light heavyweight championship bout that he missed out on at UFC 151 due to injury, but had his plans derailed by Lyoto Machida. Henderson and Machida squared off at UFC 157 recently in Anaheim, Calif., with Machida scoring a controversial split decision victory.
Henderson had been on a four-fight winning streak prior to that loss, including victories over Shogun Rua and Fedor Emelianenko.
Instead of stepping in to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, Jones instead steps in with Evans.
Like Machida, Evans (17-3-1) is a former UFC light heavyweight champion. He road a four-fight winning streak, weathering several setbacks due to injury, to get a return shot at the belt at UFC 145.
Evans failed to recapture the title from Jones, his former teammate, and then followed that up with a flat performance against Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 over Super Bowl weekend. Evans lost both fights by unanimous decision, entering the bout with Henderson in desperate need of a victory.
In confirming Henderson vs. Evans, Nogueira vs. Shogun, and Palelei vs. Miocic, UFC officials also noted that a main event announcement was still forthcoming.