The main talking point from UFC 167 last Saturday has been the result of the GSP v Hendricks fight. Many fans, media and even C.E.O's feel that the decision was unjust, a 'robbery' even. To call it a robbery is pretty much an absurd thing to say as the fight was competitive all the way through and in truth you couldn't have been mad no matter what the outcome. Well guess what. I am a little bit annoyed at the fact that the majority feel like Hendricks actually won and are now treating GSP like a bad person, especially his boss, who after everything GSP has done for the company, feels like he can try and force him into a rematch and make him feel probably even worse than he already does. Some of the thing Dana White says are ridiculous but his rant after UFC 167 was totally uncalled for and he should be ashamed of himself. Hopefully he realises that. Anyway back to why I was writing this article in hte first place.
Most media sites are unanimous in the fact that they called rounds 2 and 4 for Hendricks and rounds 3 and 5 for GSP. I had that the same. Where people are differing is on the First round. Well I'm here to tell you why GSP won that round and Hendricks did not. Truthfully it was a close round but I feel like I can bring light to certain areas for why GSP won that round. Obviously MMA is a subjective sport and many people may still not agree with this article but even if I can change the mind of a small portion of people and get across the points that I feel won GSP the round then I will be happy.
I watched the First round of this fight Five times in a row just so I could keep all of the action fresh and to see if I scored anything different or maybe missed something the first few times. Here are my findings.
- Literally 10 seconds into the round GSP times a Hendricks punch to perfection and scores a big takedown which resulted in him trying to apply a guillotine choke that Hendricks manged to get out of. The crowd were pretty vocal for the takedown but nothing too loud, possibly because they were expecting GSP to take Hendricks down. Just because they were expecting it doesn't make it any less impressive though.
- The clinch was evenly contested with Hendricks landing Knees to the leg and GSP landing knees and punches to the body and leg. Hendricks strikes had more authority but were less frequent than GSPs'
- As the action went to the cage GSP backed Hendricks up then Hendricks landed several strong elbows to the side of GSPs' head, This was number One of Two of Hendricks only moments in the round.
- As they both struggled for position in the clinch Hendricks managed a takedown to which the crowd went into uproar. I feel that this is a point in which many people (commentators, media, judges and fans who judged at home) will have scored Hendricks more on the crowd reaction rather than anything else. Let's not forget GSP also had a takedown in the round but the crowd were nowhere near as vocal about that. Crowd reaction is very persuasive and can give people an impression that something more is happening than what is actually in front of them. After watching the round on mute you may get the picture. Number Two of Two for Hendricks moments in this round.
- After the takedown GSP found his way to his feet very quickly and worked his kicking game, keeping Hendricks at bay with a series of leg kicks and body kicks.
- Hendricks throws a knee that didn't actually connect but for some reason Joe Rogan get very hyper about it. Even though it didn't connect, the way that Rogan yelled it made this another one of those moments which could influence somebodies scoring of the round. Please let me reiterate that the knee never landed.
- GSP throws up a head kick that connected, it wasn't all that powerful but it still hit the mark.
- All through the round I saw Hendricks strikes being parried, hitting GSP on the gloves or missing wildly.
- I feel that GSP landed cleaner strikes throughout the round, even Fightmetric had GSP up on the significant strikes count 19-18.
If you check out the stats on Fightmetric, they are even on pretty much all of the stats, so in reality the round is subjective to the person watching it. For me those facts I bullet-pointed sway this round in favor of GSP. I urge you to watch the first round again on mute and you can see exactly what I saw. It was a close fight but the right guy got his hand raised in the end.
Written by Ryan Naylor MMA enthusiast/predictor and writer
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