At UFC 167 on November 16th, welterweight kingpin Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (24-2) will defend his title against the hard-hitting Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (15-1) for the UFC welterweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite St-Pierre’s incredible tear in the welterweight division establishing an 11 fight win streak, this fight with Hendricks is a strong test for the French-Canadian’s career. Not only does Hendricks possess fantastic wrestling and durability, he has two absolute bricks for hands and tends to favor throwing his left-hand when throwing the knockout punch. His knockout power gives Dan Henderson a run for his money for the “H-Bomb” nickname.
This isn’t St-Pierre’s first dance with a seasoned wrestler. St-Pierre has faced fighters with similar skillsets. Rush absolutely dominated Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch and Josh Koschek (twice), all of whom are seasoned wrestlers, so I don’t expect GSP to be outmatched in this department.
The most comparable opponent to Hendricks that St-Pierre has faced is Josh Koschek. Like Hendricks, Koschek is a tough, durable, hard-hitting wrestler, however even with this well-rounded skillset, Koschek was dominated by GSP twice. In the second fight between GSP and Koschek, St-Pierre had a fairly difficult time taking Koschek to the mat. St-Pierre shifted gears and picked Koschek apart with his jab and cruised to an easy unanimous decision victory.
As mentioned above, Hendricks has incredible wrestling and he may very well have St-Pierre equally matched in this department. History as proven that when wrestlers cannot bring GSP to the mat, it often ends up a one-sided stand-up fight with St-Pierre controlling the fight with his jab and footwork.
My Prediction: Georges St-Pierre via Unanimous Decision