One of the biggest fights of the year is a little more than a week away and ahead of it, the UFC has released the second installment of UFC Primetime: St-Pierre VS. Hendricks.
The show is once again great, and continues to give us further insight into the minds of both combatants going into the fight.
As always, Johny Hendricks is a fountain of faith and belief. In run up to the fight, Johny is leaving fans with the impression that he’s going to blow through the champion on his way to seizing the welterweight belt.
However, as George St. Pierre has stated, “there’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance”, and fans really should wonder whether or not “Bigg Rigg” is, perhaps, being a little too confident.
Of his wrestling, he says he’d “crush” the champion and he seems to scoff at Rush’s accomplishments in the ring. Yet, this is mixed martial arts and as everyone knows, there is probably no better (MMA) wrestler in the sport, than GSP. To the point, he’s beaten a lot of great wrestlers and most particularly Josh Koscheck. Rush fought “Kos” twice, for a total of eight rounds and won every round handily, with neither Koscheck’s wrestling nor heavy right, ever coming into play in the matches. For his part, Hendricks fought Kos and only managed to eke out a (three round) split decision victory, with many fans believing that he actually lost the fight.
Further, Bigg Rigg is of the impression that he’ll either walk the champ down or leap in with a big left or right, and seal the deal. In essence, Hendricks feels that he has nothing to worry about from Rush’s stand-up and most particularly, his jab. Yet, that jab destroyed Josh Koscheck’s orbital bone and removed him from the Octagon for a year. Further, it was stiff enough to have knocked down such fighters as Jake Shields and Thiago Alves.
That said, Hendricks has never been KO’d or submitted in a fight and where his finishing rate isn’t that great (45% UFC), it is, however, completely comprised of KO / TKO stoppages; five. Further he’s never been dominated or owned in a fight. In a nutshell, he’s a tough guy, hard to takedown and control, and he packs a great deal of power. He’s also explosive and like the champion, can close a distance very quickly.
All things considered, the book on Hendricks is probably a first or second round KO / TKO of the champion or nothing. As Johny is a strong starter and tends to fade in the later rounds, his window of opportunity for victory lay within the first ten minutes of the fight and really nowhere else. If he can’t pull it off with in that time, and given that he’s never been in a five round fight before, let alone with a cardio machine like Georges St. Pierre, he’ll find himself in deep water come the third and championship rounds, and probably with little chance of winning.
Regardless of the match’s outcome, this bout is apt to be another feather in the cap of the UFC, in what has been an amazing year of fights and cards.