In the main event at UFC 167: St-Pierre vs. Hendricks, UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (24-2 MMA; 18-2 UFC) takes on challenger Johny Hendricks (15-1 MMA; 10-1 UFC). This five-round title fight headlines the PPV. The UFC Rankings have Hendricks as the #1 contender, while St. Pierre sits at #2 on the pound-for-pound list. UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, November 16 on PPV with a fight time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for the main card.
It's been so long since anyone other than GSP stood atop that Welterweight division that it feels off to even contemplate a St-Pierre loss. Still, Chris Weidman showed us that even the "invincible" champions can fall. For Hendricks to have a Weidman-esque upset win, he'll need to give GSP the fight of his life and use that huge left hand. If he doesn't, look for the champion to do what he does best: grind his opponent into defeat.
How do these two stack up?
St-Pierre: 32 years old | 5'10" | 76" reach
Hendricks: 30 years old | 5'9" | 69" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre has not lost in six years. He has held the belt for five. He's gone through a tough injury and come out looking just as physically dominant as ever. Yet there are beginning to be some questions around him. More and more, we are hearing talk of a possible GSP retirement, with some in his camp even saying tonight could be his last fight ever. GSP denies those rumors, but the louder they get, the more you have to wonder about them. Is there something in the champion's heart and mind that says maybe his time is winding down? If so, maybe this is the year both long-standing dominant champions fall.
Stylistically, Johny Hendricks is largely from the Dan Henderson school of MMA. He's a talented wrestler who prefers to use his crushing KO power to get the job done. If that KO doesn't come, he'll try to grind his way to the win. That's a style that has served Hendo and others well, and so far, it's done great things for Hendricks. Since his lone loss (to Rick Story in 2010), he has been on a rampage, defeating virtually every top contender in the Welterweight division. There's no denying that he earned this shot and that his power makes him a real threat to the champion.
Why should you care?
GSP fights have been a bit predictable for awhile now, but Hendricks's power has the potential to completely turn the fight around in an instant. This is a fight you will watch on the edge of your seat.
More from Bloody Elbow:
- UFC 167: Pre-fight coverage, weigh-ins, previews, prognostications, and analysis
- UFC 167 Primetime: All 3 episodes Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks
- Nate Diaz to UFC: 'You're paying these p**sies'
- NSAC's Keith Kizer lays out steps for Vitor Belfort to fight for the UFC title in Las Vegas
- MMA Origins: UFC 1 (20th Anniversary Edition)