It’s fight week, and Saturday’s UFC 158 from Montreal will feature a co-main event between Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit that will have major implications on the 170 lb. division.
I’m not going to waste too much time over-analyzing the styles of these two fighters. Both guys have great striking, although I would give Hendricks the nod in power, and Condit the advantage in technical striking.
Condit holds a brown belt in BJJ, while Hendricks is a NCAA division 1 wrestler. Given that Condit had a hard time against GSP on the ground, and Hendricks likes to bang, I think that this fight will take place predominantly on the feet.
My prediction for the fight
In the first round I expect Hendricks to come out swinging hard. I also expect Condit to use evasive footwork, head movement, and a solid jab to keep Hendricks at a safe distance.
I would expect to see Hendricks trying to close the distance, push Condit against the cage, and cut off the angles of escape for ‘NBK’. I don’t think this will be an easy fight for Condit.
Condit’s main offense is, I think, going to be his defense. Moving away from the power punches of Hendricks is going to be the key for Condit. He needs to keep ‘Big Rig’ off balance, and establish a solid jab/low kick, but also be wary of the takedown.
Towards the end of the first round, Hendricks may tempt fate and take Condit to the ground. I think he may have some success with ground and pound, and change his mindset towards where this fight should take place.
Coming into round 2, I would expect much the same from Condit. Perhaps a few high kicks for good measure. This is where I think Hendricks will capitalize, utilizing his superior wrestling, and scoring some big takedowns.
Look for Hendricks to throw down some serious punishment on the mat, possibly cutting Condit in the process. From here I think it is all down hill for the former title challenger.
Hendricks, in my opinion, is going to gain a dominant position and finish Condit mid-way through round 2. I doubt he will knock Condit out, but I do think his power will be too much. My prediction is the ref stops the fight for the winner by TKO in round 2-Johny Hendricks.
If Hendricks can put in a performance like this on the night, there is no doubt that he should get the winner of GSP/Diaz. Hendricks, in my opinion, should be facing GSP on Saturday night, but that’s another story.
As for Condit, if my prediction comes true I think it will be back to the drawing board. The 28-year-old has a lot of fight in him, and although it will be hard, I think he could make it back to title contention within 3 more fights.
Come Saturday night we could either see a changing of the guard, or the reigning champ prove why he is the best. Whatever the case, the implications of UFC 158 are huge on the welterweight division.
Let us hear your thoughts on the fight below, and stay tuned to Lowkick for more pre-UFC 158 coverage!