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Thursday, Mar 13, 2014

UFC 171 and GSP’s Interdiction

UFC 171 headliner Robbie Lawler (photo via Esther Lin / Strikeforce)

By Jesse Heitz

We’re only a few days away from UFC 171, which is to be headlined by a battle for the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.  The fight sells itself, and is sure to deliver some incredible fireworks.  Fight fans from all walks are certain to enjoy the exchange between these two heavy-handed scrappers.

Who will take the championship gold home?  Now that’s the question.  I have a feeling that Hendricks, a superbly well-rounded fighter, might have the edge.  Even former welterweight kingpin, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, as stated in an interview published by the Yahoo Eurosport UK, has picked Hendricks.  The former champion stated,

“I’m going to watch the fight as a fan. I’m sure it’s going to be a very exciting fight.”

“If I have no choice and have to bet, I think it will be Johny Hendricks.  They both have power to knock each other out, but I believe Johny Hendricks has the grappling in his favor, grappling ability.”

As I’ve said, I’m inclined to agree with St-Pierre’s assessment, in this game all it takes is one well-placed strike, the rules of the proverbial puncher’s chance.  In this particular fight, I’d argue it all boils down to that overly simplistic principle.  However, this is not to be used in the sense of being an underdog, or that one fighter is under-gunned, but rather to underscore that from bell to bell these two men are going to be exchanging bombs.

Speaking of the former champion, St-Pierre has been thrust into the UFC 171 spotlight.  In an interview released by the Bleacher Report, St-Pierre was asked about a possible return to the sport.  St-Pierre responded by stating,

“Don’t blink, but I don’t know.  We’ll see. It could be a yes, fast, or it could be a no it depend. I can’t tell you everything I have to keep myself some secret sometimes.”

Now this is something that I find somewhat aggravating.  That the former champion who relinquished his title in order to step away from the sport, retire, however you’d like to phrase it, is gobbling up the headlines in the run-up to this fight.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that this response was elicited, but still, St-Pierre didn’t have to allude to a comeback.  He didn’t have to throw himself into the spotlight at all; he could have simply kept the chatter centered on the upcoming fight, a monumental changing of the guard.  After all, it is the event that we should really be keeping our collective eye on.


posted by FCF Staff @ 12:12 pm
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