Will GSP Finish Johny Hendricks at UFC 167?

Posted on November 10, 2013, 02:14 PM by Michael Stephensen
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Johny Hendricks is a fan favorite in large part because he finishes fights in exciting and resounding fashion. GSP is a fan favorite because prior to his "cautious period" after winning the championship back from Matt Serra, he was aggressive and exciting.  Both men are likable and respected by fighters and fans alike.

Prior to his loss to Serra, St. Pierre won 10 of his 13 wins via submission (4) or KO/TKO (6).  Since winning back the championship from Serra, GSP has come back with 8 wins, 7 of which were decisions (and a TKO / corner stoppage against BJ Penn).  This has led to GSP being criticized as a "Lay n' Pray" specialist.  He is unparalleled in controlling where the fight takes place and in dominating his opponent on the ground.  This is attributed to his strength and his wrestling.  He has worked with the Canadian Olympic Wrestling Team and even considered trying out for the team at one time.  

Although he didn't grow up wrestling in high school and college, he has achieved a high level of skill.  He has no wrestling pedigree, but on the other hand, all of his wrestling is "MMA wrestling" which is at least as valuable.  Regarding his wrestling prowess GSP himself has said that a lot of it is attributable to his karate background.  Although this may sound surprising, it has been noted that during his takedowns GSP seems to go right through the opponent.  This, he says, is due to effective penetration developed via karate "move in, strike, move out" type drills.

Georges St. Pierre is:

UFC #1 at Takedown's landed: GSP = 84. Hendricks is not on the top 10 list

UFC #1 at Takedown Accuracy = 75 %. Hendricks is not on the top 10 list

UFC #7 at Takedown Defense = 88%. Hendricks is not on the top 10 list

Keep in mind that the last two stats are percentages so it doesn't matter that GSP has been in the UFC longer and has twice as many fights.

Johny Hendricks has an indisputable wrestling pedigree.  Hendricks was an Oklahoma state champion 3 times in high school.  He also won the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Division 1 wrestling title in the 165 pound division.  In college, Hendricks had a 56-1 wrestling record and came in second in the 2007 NCAA championships.  Hendricks has a number of other wrestling achievements and accolades.  

In MMA, he has relied mainly on his striking and his wrestling has taken a bit of a back seat.  Wrestling has allowed Hendricks to strike with relative impunity knowing that he has little to fear in the takedown department.  There is no disputing Hendricks wrestling pedigree - but how will it fare in an MMA setting against Georges St. Pierre?  

In the BJJ realm there is no question that Georges St. Pierre is more experienced and more highly decorated. This is but a part of overall grappling. While it is difficult to say who will dominate in grappling it would seem that GSP has the advantage. 

It is often said that the jab is an under-utilized tool in MMA yet GSP used it to complete neutralize Josh Koscheck.  His use of the jab reflects the fact that GSP is one of the most teachable mixed martial artists out there.  In fact, when you talk to GSP he will tell you he is not a fighter but rather a martial artist.  He lives to grow, change and improve.  He has said that Hendricks poses an unusual problem and that he will have a surprise for Hendricks.  What will it be?  

It seems unlikely that even GSP can come up with a surprise in the wrestling world.  More likely GSP has worked on striking in what is for him some novel fashion.  It is public knowledge that GSP works with many different experts.  Lately he has been training with Muay Thai Master Yod Wilek and Kru Lamsongkram Chuwattana.  Expect some surprises in this aspect of MMA.

Georges St. Pierre is: 

UFC #1 Total Strikes landed 2398.  Hendricks is not on the list

UFC #4 Significant Strike Defense = 75.1%.  Hendricks is not on the list

UFC #1 Significant Strikes Landed = 1153.  Hendricks is not on the list.

UFC Top 10 Knockdown's landed - neither fighter is on the list

UFC Top 10 Significant Strike Accuracy - neither fighter is on the list

What about punching power? In this video Johny comes close to beating the record set at this event by Dan Hardy (I know what you're thinking: Dan Who?) 

In this video GSP scores 2859 at the Sports Science testing facility. 

It is interesting to note that at the Sports Science testing Cain Velasquez's punch is 2230 lbs of force, Rampage Jackson's punch is 1800 lbs of force and Shogun Rua's kick is 2749 lbs of force.

Hendricks fans will undoubtedly point to the fact that Hendricks is a finisher and GSP is too cautious.  A look at their overall record illustrates:

Hendricks in the UFC

Total Fights = 11; 

TKO / KO = 5

Decision 6

Submission 0

UFC Finish rate  = 45%

Georges St. Pierre in the UFC:

Total Fights = 21

TKO / KO = 6

Decision = 11

Submission = 4; UFC 

UFC Finish rate = 48%

At UFC 167 the world we could be shocked - not that there is a new UFC Welterweight champion - but that Georges St. Pierre has set a new record for most wins by stopping Johny Hendricks.


Comments

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  • UnderdogGreatness
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    Yes, Georges Safe-Pierre will finish Hendricks in the beginning of the 6th round.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Michael Stephensen
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    Okay, even I thought that was funny.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • David Saucier
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    Does a bear **** in the woods?

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Brasil
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    Are they going to fight or fuc....because if it is a fight there is no way GSP will finish.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • enjoylife321
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    I don't see any weaknesses in GSP's game. GSP can take anyone down, he has destroyed those who boast BJJ skills, he has broken orbital bones with jabs and he is too disciplined to throw stupid spinning back fists like chael sonnen.

    Hendricks will be fighting with desperation looking to land a heavy left...Its not going to land..GSP wins this fight everyday of the week, month and year.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • falcon4917
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    His only weakness is his intent to get the job done. Even if he has his opponent all but finished he doesn't go for the kill.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • jdnextchamp
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    Falcon what does "getting the job done" mean? Finishing? BS

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Michael Stephensen
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    So JDnext, if we change "finishing" for Falcon's "getting the job done" the sentence would read: "His only weakness is his intent to finish". You think that is BS. So I presume you then think that GSP has a good intent to finish??? You are either a GSP fan or your comment is backwards to what you were trying to say.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • falcon4917
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    He never used to have that weakness either. He used to go strait for it and show what he was made of. If it weren't for that one weakness he would have it all to a good degree.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • falcon4917
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    In a fight you bet he comes short. In a sport he gets the job done very well. He's an athlete more than a fighter. You only win a fight by making the opponent cry uncle or finishing him/her.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Brian Cox
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    I'll laugh if Rush comes out and KOs' Hendricks in the first minute of the fight. That would be so ironic.

    To be honest, I'll be shocked if GSP finishes Bigg Rigg, but we can always hope.

    Nice article, Michael.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • watermelon fresh
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    I think GSP will actually win via stoppage. I think he's a superior fighter in every area, I also believe GSP has had enough of fighting and after the fight he will either retire or announce he will be cutting to 155 for a super fight with Aldo. Aldo moves up and GSP moves down? Rory will be the next champ.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • grandslam
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    I am a huge GSP fan but of lately, the 'Rush' factor has just faded away from his game. We all know that GSP is ultra talented and he has the skills to beat any other WW in the UFC.however, his last fight with Nick Dias was irritating to say the least. I desperately hope that he goes for the finish this time or at least stays more aggressive through the rounds.

    If he prefers to take safe route and his performance is the same as his last fight then quite honestly, I wouldn't wanna give a fcuk about GSP's fight again. In fact, I'd rather wait for GSP retire so that he stops boring the fcuk outta the fans. I pay to watch a fighter in the octagon not a strategist who want to avoid risks at all cost.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • griffin
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    i highly doubt it. GSP doesnt try hard enough to get the finish and johnny is one of the most durable guys hes faced recently. GSP will probably win the fight but why im gonna buy the PPV is cuz Johnny has the biggest "What if" auro than anyone hes faced recently and rightfully so the dude has KO power in both hands and great wrestling. GSP is just too damn talented and smart to fall for his game in fact hes so smart that he will never engage enough to even have a possibility to finish the fight

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Michael Stephensen
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    An interesting perception given Hendrick's finish rate in the UFC is only 45%

    Reply 5 months ago
  • griffin
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    thats a solid percentage. if it was really high i would not be as interested because the guy is probably just a top striker or BJJ guy. since his UFC debut johnny has shown that he has devastating KO power that can drop even the top guys but he doesnt only rely on his big right hand he also mixes in his top notch wrestling to get the decision. thats why its interesting because he has and uses both tools.When you look at Johnnys finish rate for the last 6 fights its a lot higher than GSPs 0%

    Reply 5 months ago
  • akieyugames
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    I'll be happy to see GSP jab through Big Rigg's beard for 5 rounds, If he'll finish, then ok, but I'd rather see but I'll be happy watching Hendricks eat 5 rounds of jabs and having no answer for it, cause man he's starting to ****...big time.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • grandslam
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    Have you just hit puberty?

    Reply 5 months ago
  • RPM
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    @akieyugames, what are you trying to say??

    Reply 5 months ago
  • Entity
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    Well researched and concise article. Nice work sir.
    I'm hoping to see GSP get the finish. I don't think Hendricks will have any more of a chance than Koscheck, since their styles are very similar. I guess I'll predict a decision for GSP or a submission, since thats what I'm sensing GSP has been working on.

    Reply 5 months ago
  • nimbleweed
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    'Rush' has become the most ironic nickname in MMA lol

    The guy doesn't rush anything, he's precise, methodical, patient and more regimented that any fighter the UFC has seen...

    Saying that... What's this bloody secret weapon...

    KO Power or Submission Skills? What do we think?

    Reply 5 months ago