Johny Hendricks was one of the top two dudes in the welterweight division, but karate man Stephen Thompson murdered him and now he’s relegated to fighting TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum. Oh well.
Hendricks may have the power, but Gastelum has got speed and constant motion in his favor, which translates into him chipping away at the ex-champ’s thighs with kicks and knocking Hendricks’ head back with right-left combos over and over again. At one point, so many have landed that Hendricks looks wobbly, but he regains his senses enough to tie up, and the round ends with them trading.
Adjustments are made when the second round commences, with Hendricks turning up the heat and making an effort to get off first. It works – instead of letting Gastelum hit him, Hendricks is striking and pressing him against the fence. But exhaustion enables Gastelum to score, and it’s hard to imagine that this version of Hendricks could ever be champ again.
Though tired as well, Gastelum puts pressure on his foe throughout the third round, chasing him down and banging him up with combos. Hendricks does his best to return the favor but is lumbering, and in the final minute and a half does his best to secure a takedown. He gets one briefly, and when Gastelum gets back up they both just throw caution to the wind and feed each other fist-salad.
Result: Kelvin Gastelum def. Johny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision