Opinion: Can Rick Story Help Georges St. Pierre Defeat Johny Hendricks?
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC welterweight Rick Story has spent the past six weeks preparing for his UFC 167 fight against Brian Ebersole at the Tristar gym, home of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and contender Rory MacDonald.
GSP and head coach Firas Zahabi wanted to rely on Story’s experience against Johny Hendricks, a fight Story won by decision in 2010 at the TUF 12 Finale. Hendricks has clearly evolved since that fight, but GSP wanted to learn about the strategies implemented by Story to see if he can use the same general blue print towards success.
GSP is a major strategist when he competes inside the cage, and will certainly look to avoid Hendricks’ heavy hands. Following on Story’s advice, expect to see GSP try to pressure Hendricks and make the heavy-handed fighter move backwards and put pressure on him.
Considering GSP’s ability to defend takedowns – and seemingly put opponents on their backs anytime he wants – GSP has a great opportunity to put pressure on Hendricks and make the title challenger uncomfortable.
It was probably a great idea for Story to spend time training at Tristar, as the welterweight fighter has lost four of his last six fights – and likely is fighting for his UFC job this weekend. I don’t know if working with GSP, MacDonald, and others at the Tristar gym will help him get the job done, but it certainly won’t hurt.
There are rumors that GSP could call it a career if he beats Hendricks on Saturday night, with GSP’s own mentor, Kristof Midoux, recommending the popular French-Canadian retire if he finishes Hendricks. I don’t think it’s time for GSP to retire, win or lose, but he has emphatically beaten everyone the UFC has put in front of him.
Follow Full Contact Fighter this weekend for full UFC 167 event coverage – and to see how GSP, MacDonald, and Story do in their respective fights.