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UFC 167: Georges St-Pierre beats Johny Hendricks; to take time off

November 16, 2013|By Todd Martin
  • Georges St-Pierre, left, and Johny Hendricks land punches during their welterweight fight Saturday at UFC 167 in Las Vegas. St-Pierre won by split decision.
Georges St-Pierre, left, and Johny Hendricks land punches during their… (Isaac Brekken / Associated…)

UFC 167 takes place Saturday night, one of the biggest events of the year for the UFC. In the main event, the UFC's top star attraction and longtime welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre defends his welterweight title against one of his most dangerous challengers in recent memory, Johny Hendricks. Hendricks' elite wrestling and knockout power present a formidable challenge for the French Canadian champion. In the semi-main event of the evening, broadcast partners Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans will fight for their positioning in the light heavyweight pecking order. This is also the UFC's 20th anniversary show, as the first UFC show took place 20 years ago this week.

UFC welterweight title: Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

St-Pierre is one of the greatest champions in UFC history. He combines elite athleticism and work ethic with a dynamic and well-rounded game. He has dominated the welterweight division, one of the sport’s best, since capturing the title from Matt Serra over five years ago. Hendricks is an elite wrestler, a two time NCAA Division 1 national champion. In MMA, he has added a dangerous striking game with big knockout power. He is also a big game performer, having been an elite athlete since a child.

Round 1. Hendricks moves in and St-Pierre takes him down. St-Pierre looks for a guillotine choke but can’t get it. They return to the feet where St-Pierre throws some knees to the body. They are separated. Hendricks lunges in with an uppercut and St-Pierre looks for the takedown again. He grabs a single leg but Hendricks defends well from there. St-Pierre eats a series of elbows to the head as he looks for a takedown against the cage. Hendricks reverses St-Pierre and presses the champion against the cage. Hendricks dumps St-Pierre to the canvas with a takedown at the midpoint of the round. However, St-Pierre stands up within 15 seconds. They separate and Hendricks charges in with power punches. None comes close to landing. St-Pierre hits a head kick that does connect solidly. St-Pierre is bleeding very lightly from near his right eye. From the clinch, St-Pierre lands some more knees to the body. They separate and St-Pierre throws a few kicks high and low. Hendricks answers with a power punch of his own and the round concludes. Very tough round to score. 10-9 St-Pierre.

Round 2. St-Pierre opens with a low kick. He follows with some additional low kicks when Hendricks doesn’t check the first. Hendricks moves forward with heavy punches but St-Pierre is able to avoid them for the most part. Hendricks does it again and he clips St-Pierre. St-Pierre is hurt and he has to clinch. Hendricks goes back to work with the big storms of punches and they come in with such fury directed at the champion’s chin that it looks like the fight could be ended at any moment. The fighters trade leg kicks. St-Pierre’s face is already marked up. St-Pierre throws a few jabs to try to keep the challenger at bay. St-Pierre mixes in some hooks and some straight rights as well. Hendricks when he comes in will mix uppercuts, overhands and hooks. St-Pierre lands a nice head kick and jab. The champion is landing more but the challenger is landing harder. St-Pierre clinches in the final 15 seconds and they trade shots to the body as the time runs out on the second frame. 10-9 Hendricks.

Round 3. Hendricks misses an uppercut but connects with a hook at the start. St-Pierre goes to work with his jab. St-Pierre adds some leg kicks. Hendricks charges in looking for a big shot but is countered with a few jabs, the perfect deterrent to Hendricks’ power. Hendricks starts throwing jabs of his own. The crowd, which has gone back and forth between chanting for GSP and for Hendricks, returns to loudly chanting “GSP.” Hendricks ducks down a big to appear to tease a takedown and then fires in a power shot at the chin of St-Pierre. Hendricks doesn’t appear winded but his pace has slowed and with it, St-Pierre has done better at dictating the tempo and controlling with his jab. Hendricks, however, fires back with a hard straight punch, perhaps the best of the round thus far. Hendricks looks for a takedown in the final minute of the round. St-Pierre is pushed up against the cage and Hendricks secures the takedown with 30 seconds left. Hendricks lands some punches from the top and St-Pierre stands back up at the end of the round. 10-9 St-Pierre, 29-28 St-Pierre through three. However, the clearest round of the fight was Hendricks in the second.

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