Georges St. Pierre has successfully defended his welterweight title from Nick Diaz in a long awaited bout. GSP dominated the entire fight, both on the ground and the feet, while Diaz couldn’t get any offence going the entire fight. With that fight finally over with after years of buildup, GSP can move on and face the true number one contender of the welterweight division in Jonny Hendricks. In my opinion, this is GSP’s toughest fight in his career as Hendricks presents threats that GSP has rarely had to deal with. This is GSP vs. Hendricks: Breakdown.
Hendricks is one of the only people in the division that has a chance in defending GSP’s takdowns. He is a former NCAA division 1 wrestler and has shown to have fantastic MMA wrestling. He has a chance of defending take downs and throwing his powerful left hand to potentially knock GSP out. He needs to keep the fight standing and use his explosiveness to close the distance and land his heavy punches. GSP is more well rounded and can either try to out strike Hendricks like he did Koscheck, or take him down and use his amazing ground game.
Jonny Hendricks has proven he has the most powerful hands in the welterweight division. He has one punch KO power and will look to utilize this against GSP. Hendricks will look to jump in fast with lead left’s and try to land clean on GSP’s chin. GSP has shown he can get rocked, losing to Matt Serra by TKO and getting hurt badly against Carlos Condit, so you have to think Hendricks has the tools available to stop GSP. Unlike previous fights, Hendricks showed he can throw more then just looping left hands and showed decent technique in his fight with Condit. Near the end of that fight however, Condit took over the striking and Hendricks had to resort to his takedowns to win the fight. This will not work against GSP.
GSP currently holds UFC records for amount of strikes landed, and striking accuracy. He is surprisingly still one of the most underrated strikers in MMA. His bread and butter punch is his jab, and he will be using it all fight against Hendricks. He will stay out of Hendricks’ striking range and will pepper his face for 5 rounds with long jabs and lunging rights. He will constantly circle to the right and avoid Hendricks’ powerful left hand. One of the things that makes GSP’s striking so good is he supplements it amazingly well with his wrestling. He never lets his opponents get comfortable striking and constantly mixes up striking and take downs. He will do this to Hendricks just like he did to Koscheck.
Slight Edge: GSP
Hendricks is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler so we all know he knows how to wrestle. In this fight, he will try to utilize his defensive wrestling ability. He needs to find a way to keep this fight standing as that is his only chance to win. On top of he take down defence, he has to be able to stand back up after getting taken down because he WILL get taken down by GSP. I think he will gas in the later rounds, and GSP will begin to take him down at will. His only chance is to defend the take down early and KO GSP in the first or second round.
GSP will be setting up his take downs with strikes. He will shoot when Hendricks is punching and strike when Hendricks is thinking take down. This is what GSP does better then anyone in the fight game and I don’t think Hendricks has what it takes to stop it. It will become apparent in the later rounds that Hendricks has nothing for GSP in the wrestling when he becomes very tentative striking and well turn into a defensive shell. Like most of GSP’s opponents, he will start to fight just to not get finished.
This is what GSP wants the fight to be. In all the area’s of this fight, GSP has the biggest advantage when grappling. He has dominated much better grappler’s then Hendricks such as BJ Penn and Matt Serra. Not only did he totally neutralize their ground games, he was able to pass their guards at will. I don’t think Hendricks will be able to stop GSP from passing his guard all fight and expect to see Hendricks eventually give up his back. I feel like GSP has a good chance of submitted Hendricks in this fight, either by rear naked choke when Hendricks gives up his back or by armbar once GSP passes his guard.
As you can probably tell, I think GSP is better in all area’s for this fight compared to Hendricks. That does not mean that Hendricks has no chance, as anyone in the UFC has a punchers chance. Hendricks will have to defend the takedown and knock GSP out otherwise it will end up being the same type of fight as GSP vs. Koscheck 1 and 2. I am very much looking forward to this fight as Hendricks really wants it so it should be an exciting fight. If GSP wins this, I expect more people to want him to fight Anderson Silva. Will it happen?
I think so.