I’d like to preface this post by saying that I still have Johny Hendricks winning the fight over Georges St.-Pierre. I’d give rounds 1, 2 and 4 to Hendricks and 3 & 5 to GSP.
I was a victim of the moment Saturday night. I dislike Johny Hendricks, but I have to say, he’s the hands down winner of that fight. Looking back on the fight, after watching it again, I can still hardly see how or why the judges gave GSP the split decision victory. Some might say that damage is an overrated factor to include in a decision victory, because if a bloody, cut up and brutalized face meant anything to the judges then Frankie Edgar would have a porous MMA record, which is true, but to put Saturday night’s main event fight in conclusion: Johny Hendricks whipped Georges St.-Pierre’s ass, but GSP was declared the victor by, again, split decision.
Hendricks came out in round one and took it to GSP. GSP did get a few shots in as well as a takedown and a submission attempt (the quick guillotine that almost seemed like Hendricks tapped for a second), but Hendricks was the aggressor and imposed his will on the Welterweight champ. You can almost dub round one as a draw. In round two, Hendricks’ biggest selling points — to me — of winning that round was his 15 second flurry of forward attacks and punches from overhand lefts and rights that found their way to GSP’s jaw. Some pundits have debated that the aforementioned 15 second flurry of punches don’t mean shit in the totality of the round, but y’know what? It’s significant enough to me, as they were big time strikes that had GSP reeling. That fact alone, again in my opinion, gives the round to Johny Hendricks. Momentum cannot be disregarded.
In round 3, GSP came alive; he knew he was down on the scorecards and he landed a takedown and a couple of superman punches as well as his patented jabs to take the round over. Nothing groundbreaking, but he was hitting Hendricks with precision.
In round 4, Hendricks dominated. GSP slipped and was fucking out of it.
Round 5… here’s the kicker… before the round, you could hear Hendricks’ corner telling him that the fight’s in the bag and he’s up on the scorecard. For the most part of that fifth round, Hendricks took it easy and GSP won the round in what looked to be a desperation spree, thus he kept his belt.
There’s a bit of an unwritten rule in MMA and boxing that to beat the champion, you must do it convincingly and emphatically. I thought Hendricks did just that, but I reckon the NSAC didn’t.