UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre has dominated his division for almost six years and has looked virtually unstoppable while doing so. Johny Hendricks has been brutally knocking out his UFC competition for the past four years while clawing his way to the top. Every year in the world of fighting there is always one bout that the classic paradox of the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object comes to mind. For the UFC this is that fight.
Let’s take a closer look at UFC 167’s welterweight title fight.
Johny Hendricks (15-1)
The old adage, “a puncher’s chance,” has been on everyone’s mind since this fight was announced. That’s because Hendricks has possibly the most explosive weapon in the entire UFC — his left hand. When Hendricks connects with his opponent’s jaw they don’t get hurt. They go to sleep.
Aside from his enormous power, Hendricks is a two-time NCAA Division I title-holder. He also has been salivating to get a shot at GSP for quite some time. In order for Hendricks to be successful against the champion he will simply have to land a huge shot which he is very capable of. The only problem for him is that he is facing the greatest welterweight we’ve ever seen.
Hendricks will have to use his wrestling in reverse most likely to keep this fight standing. He must not let GSP take him down or he’ll be in for a long night. Certain wrestlers tend to turtle up when they have the tables turned on them and they get taken down. That remains to be seen with Hendricks.
“Bigg Rigg” should look to close the distance and counter/time the champion’s fantastic jab with a big shot.
Georges St. Pierre (24-2)
With another win on Saturday night, GSP’s legendary status will soar to even new heights with two UFC records ready to be broken – the most wins and most title defenses. Retirement whispers have recently been heard from GSP’s camp (even thou the champ has denied any truth to them) so if for some reason this turns out to be his last bout, he sure as hell picked a formidable opponent to face.
If you’ve never seen a GSP fight the only thing you’d have to know is that he is the most well-rounded fighter we’ve ever seen. A true MIXED martial artist. The takedowns are just as quick as they are uncanny for a man who never wrestled in college. The striking is just as fluid as it is technical. And perhaps the most important tool in the box of the UFC welterweight champion is the game plan. After over coming a few mental hurdles GSP hasn’t lost a bout.
To defend his title GSP will have to do what he does best — mix it up. When Hendricks pushes forward in an aggressive stance, take him down and throw the jab. When he backs up, shoot and throw head kicks. GSP may be slightly larger than Hendricks but on fight night we’d bet they’d be equals in grappling strength. If he does get an advantage on the ground GSP will grind Hendricks out until he fades.
The Bottom Line
According to Bodog, GSP (-265) is the favorite against Hendricks (+225) and rightfully so. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2007. The knock on GSP is that he fights safe and doesn’t finish opponents but on Saturday night he just might have to against a man that introduces a whole new brand of danger to the welterweight division.
Who are you picking?