UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre puts his title on the line against top contender Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Former UFC welterweight interim titleholder Carlos Condit has fought both St-Pierre and Hendricks and was asked his opinion on the title bout during a recent edition of UFC Tonight.
“I think Johny Hendricks has a puncher’s chance,” said Condit. “He’s obviously a big puncher. He’s got the power to make it a short night for GSP, but I feel like GSP is going to out-technique Johny Hendricks.”
It’s sometimes forgotten that St-Pierre comes from a striking background. His karate base has been expanded with additions of possibly the best wrestling in mixed martial arts as well as a strong technical boxing game.
He has an effective jab, but has largely become a point striker. Hendricks knocks people out. Half of his wins have come by knockout, while St-Pierre has not finished an opponent since 2009. Few would disagree that St-Pierre has the more versatile striking arsenal and is the more technical striker between the two, but Hendricks’ punching power makes him a more dangerous striker.
While Hendricks has the advantage in punching power, Condit believes it will be St-Pierre’s wrestling that will be the determining factor in the fight.
“I think his wrestling, and I’m not an expert on wrestling, but I think his wrestling is going to make the difference and Georges is going to be able to take him down and control the fight,” he said.
St-Pierre is widely regarded as having some of the best wrestling in the sport. He’s adapted to grappling like a chameleon to its background, but Hendricks has the better wrestling credentials on paper.
A two-time NCAA wrestling champion and four-time NCAA wrestling All-American, Hendricks may pose the greatest threat to St-Pierre’s wrestling dominance in the welterweight division.