Controversial judges scorecards robbed Johny Hendricks from being the new UFC Welterweight Champion
George St-Pierre (GSP) – who doesn’t admire him and like what he stands for? True martial artist, great hardworking fighter and a gentleman. Idol and role model to many. Furthermore, he’s just broken the UFC total time record of being in the octagon (over 5 hours). But apparently he’s such a favourite and influence to so many that it may had even affected the judges scoring in this fight. It was a fantastic night, filled with plenty of entertaining fights and crazy KO’s. Chael Sonnen was TKO-ed quite quickly by Rashad Evans but this 20th anniversary of the Ultimate Fighting Championship was overshadowed by its main event’s surprising outcome alone.
GSP has got nothing much on Johny Hendricks besides the one takedown in the first two rounds of the title bout. He tried to bring the fight to the ground and not only he failed, he got punished with elbows. Hendricks, the strong wrestler with knockout power, landed way more significant strikes and got GSP’s legs wobbly like twice. He was very much in control most of the time, looked very comfortable and was unimpressed with any of GSP’s attacks. He was even smiling a lot before and during the rounds. GSP’s face was already quite messed up by the end of the round 2 and was beginning to take heavier breaths as though he was running out of gas. He said “people don’t realise he’s the best in the world of not getting hit”, but well, his performance here certainly didn’t help complement that statement.
In round 3, GSP seemed to have landed more power shots but Hendricks managed to get a single leg takedown at the end of the round. During the fourth round, the stats show that GSP is leading in total strikes landed by a margin of around 20. He slipped at one point and Hendricks jumped right into his guard to deliver some elbows that cut GSP’s cheeks open which bloodied him up but right after that, he invited GSP to stand up with him. A moment that he later regretted perhaps. But I would’ve done it to if I were him, ’cause I would’ve thought I was still winning by points, shouldn’t leave it to the judges but it’s GSP and I must be patient and play it safe. Unless Hendricks was very confident with his BJJ, he probably did the right thing.
In the final round, GSP landed a couple of good kicks and had two difficult takedowns (which he couldn’t do anything with after), other than that, neither did much but even if this round was given to GSP, from what I saw, Hendricks definitely won 3 rounds and by UFC’s round-by-round 10-point scoring system (as opposed to ONE FC‘s overall scoring system), Hendricks should have been the new UFC Welterweight Champion by winning via unanimous decision but only one out of the three judges awarded him with a 48-47 score while the other two gave it to GSP. Meaning these two judges felt that GSP won 3 rounds out of 5 (each round was scored 10 – 9 hence totaling up to 48-47), resulting a split decision win for GSP to retain his title. Multiple UFC fighters tweeted immediately that the decision was bullshit.
During post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, GSP said he wasn’t surprised with decision (really?) and admitted that he lost a bit of memory of the fight due to Hendrick’s strong punches. He then announced that he needs to go away for awhile to handle so personal issues but he didn’t want to reveal why or whether he’s retiring. Hendricks, while trying to be composed with his words, couldn’t hide the devastation and believed he clearly won the fight. Even Joe Rogan said that it was “shocking” and thought that Hendricks did more damage. Dana White was very pissed off with the decision and at beginning of the post-fight press conference, White said this deliberately to the press twice, “George went straight to the hospital, Johny is in an interview and will be here soon to answer all your questions.” True enough, Hendricks came much sooner as GSP had to get his face stitched up.
After a private talk with GSP, White unofficially confirmed that there will definitely be a rematch soon and boy, we can’t wait. White also said to the press that he feels that the personal problem GSP’s facing is a minor one and can be solved on that night itself and sort of hinted that it has nothing to do with fighting although he was reluctant to reveal too much. Did this problem GSP’s suffering affect his performance in this fight? Maybe he would’ve trashed Hendricks he wasn’t facing this issue? We shall have to wait to find out. St-Pierre vs. Hendricks II!
UFC 167: ST-PIERRE VS. HENDRICKS Results
Fight of The Night: Georges-St Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks
Knockout of The Night: Tyron Woodley
Submission of the Night: Donald Cerrone
Welterweight Georges St-Pierre (c) def. Johny Hendricks Decision (split) (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) 5 5:00
Light Heavyweight Rashad Evans def. Chael Sonnen TKO (punches) 1 4:05
Welterweight Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) 3 5:00
Welterweight Tyron Woodley def. Josh Koscheck KO (punches) 1 4:38
Flyweight Ali Bagautinov def. Tim Elliott Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 3 5:00
Lightweight Donald Cerrone def. Evan Dunham Submission (triangle choke) 2 3:49
Middleweight Thales Leites def. Ed Herman Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
Welterweight Rick Story def. Brian Ebersole Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
Bantamweight Erik Perez def. Edwin Figueroa Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
Welterweight Jason High def. Anthony Lapsley Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
Bantamweight Sergio Pettis def. Will Campuzano Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) 3 5:00
Light Heavyweight Gian Villante def. Cody Donovan TKO (punches) 2 1:22