Former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit thinks that Johny Hendricks has little chance in beating current divisional champion Georges St. Pierre, in their upcoming bout.
The two fighters are set to square off at UFC 167 in Las Vegas, this November 16th and in what many believe to be, St. Pierre’s toughest challenge in years.
Certainly, “Bigg Rigg” brings to the fight some impressive credentials. He’s gone 10 & 1 since entering the UFC and half of his victories have come by way of KO or TKO. Most notable of those being his flash KO and highlight reel victories, over Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch, both of which took less than (a combined) 1 minute.
However and setting his power aside, Hendricks also brings with him a serious wrestling challenge. He’s one, if not the only fighter left in the welterweight division, who might be able to negate GSP’s formidable wrestling and ground games and force the champion into a stand-up war; one that he could possibly lose.
That said, Hendricks record does reflect a limited game and one that relies heavily on obtaining a stoppage in the first round.
As was demonstrated in his last fight against Carlos Condit, a 3 round decision victory over “The Natural Born Killer”, Hendricks ground game seems to be non-existent beyond that of taking his opponents down and controlling them on the ground.
To the point, once Hendricks had Condit on the canvas he proved incapable of delivering any punishment and attempted no submission. Indeed, he spent all of his time fending off Condit’s (high-level) submission attacks from the bottom and scored no points, save for his initial take-downs.
In a nutshell, in failing to stop Condit with a single punch, Bigg Rigg had no choice but to apply his dominant wrestling skills and push the fight up against the cage. However, even in that, Hendricks had to move the fight to the ground, because he was losing the clinch game to Condit’s knees.
Taking all of this into consideration and inclusive of his own experiences with both fighters, Condit made comment on the upcoming St. Pierre / Hendricks bout, while on “UFC Tonight.” As Carlos sees it, Hendricks has but a puncher’s chance in taking out the welterweight champ and that “Rush” should be able to use superior technique and, what Condit must believe are superior wrestling skills, to win the match.
As Condit put it:
“I think Johny Hendricks has a puncher’s chance. He’s obviously a big puncher. He’s got the power to make it a short night for GSP, but I feel like GSP is going to out-technique Johny Hendricks. I think his wrestling, and I’m not an expert on wrestling, but I think his wrestling is going to make the difference and Georges is going to be able to take him down and control the fight.”
My own assessment of the facts is similar to that of Condit’s. I think if Bigg Rigg can’t lay Rush out in the first few minutes of the fight, his chances of winning the bout will begin to drop significantly and the longer the fight goes on, the lower those chances will get. If nothing else, we know that Georges sets a pretty high pace in a fight and has proven time-and-time again, that he can go a full, hard, 5 rounds and won’t tire. Hendricks on the other hand, has yet to prove that case.