Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Team Takedown's Johny Hendricks (10-1, 5-1 UFC) is looking to re-establish himself in the upper crust of the 170 division, but he'll have to go through the ultra-tough Mike Pierce (12-3, 4-1 UFC) to do it. This welterweight UFC 133 fight will take place on the preliminary portion of the card, which will be streamed live on Facebook. The Facebook stream begins at 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Hendricks: 27 years old | 5'9" | 69" reach
Pierce: 30 years old | 5'8" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Johny Hendricks was on an upward ascent through the welterweight division, winning six straight fights under the Zuffa banner, until he ran into the freight train named Rick Story at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. Hendricks was outwrestled and outworked and dropped a unanimous (but close) decision, the first loss of his career. The two-time NCAA D1 wrestling champion rebounded with a quick TKO stoppage of T.J. Waldburger at UFC Fight Night 24, but this matchup with Pierce is absolutely vital for Hendricks to stay relevant in a stacked 170 division.
Mike Pierce debuted in the UFC with a decision win over Brock Larson, then was given a huge test in Jon Fitch at UFC 107. He dropped a decision, but was probably the only person other than Georges St. Pierre to hurt Fitch in the UFC by stunning him with punches in the third round. It was a performance that many still remember vividly, and he's done nothing but add to his reputation by picking up three straight victories since then. A win over Hendricks would push Pierce back into a position to fight elite guys again.
Why should you care?
This is the toughest fight on the whole hard to call. These two have similar styles and neither of them has ever been finished. It will either be an interesting tactical battle or a slugfest. Either of those should make it compelling enough for you to watch.