Opinion: GSP vs. Hendricks Needs To Happen
By Michael Hatamoto
Georges St. Pierre is the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history, seemingly able to control championship fights whether on the ground or striking.
Since a shocking TKO loss to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April 2007, GSP has had 11 consecutive fights against most of the top welterweights in the world. In addition to beating the likes of Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, BJ Penn, Jon Fitch and others, it’s the fashion in which GSP won: complete domination, taking each fighter out of their comfort zone and simply outclassing them.
However, his next expected title defense against Johny Hendricks should generate yet another round of intrigue, as the MMA world hopes to see GSP face continued pressure from a well-rounded opponent.
Hendricks has the ability to land punches with his heavy hands and will try to utilize his wrestling to keep the fight on the feet. It’s that explosive mix of power and strong wrestling that could force the overly cautious GSP to leave his comfort zone for the first time in quite a while.
Meanwhile, Hendricks is an experienced collegiate wrestler who has evolved into a very talented welterweight with heavy hands. The former Oklahoma State University wrestler is a two-time national champion and four-time All American from a major national wrestling program.
His only career loss was a unanimous decision loss to Rick Story in 2010, though he bounced back with six straight wins – including beating Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Martin Kampmann, and Carlos Condit.
It’s impressive that Hendricks’ past four victories have been against top 10 opponents, clearly making him the deserving No. 1 contender.
I think this is why GSP vs. surging contender Hendricks needs to happen sooner rather than later, and could take place in Las Vegas.