Once again I have fully digested the results, and story lines of a UFC card over a night of Sunday cable. Here is what I’ve ascertained:
I was more enthralled watching the “Governor” on The Walking Dead stalk “Andrea,” (can she die already?) and seeing “Ragnar” on Vikings return from successfully sailing west for the first time; then I was watching Georges St Pierre dominate Nick Diaz in the UFC 158 main event. The co-main event stole the show in Montreal. Since I couldn’t be more wrong in underestimating Johny Hendricks, I will lead in with his quote from his walkout song in apology.
“My jeans are faded, and my boots are brown. I stand for passion and I stand my ground. Ain’t nothing gonna hold me down, with $50 and a flask of Crown.”-Bleu Edmonson
The gloves are off, the tape has been cut. Now let’s look at what’s next for the winners, and who is left in pain from the UFC 158 main and co-main.
Man oh man was I wrong about him. Yes, I knew he had a cinder block of a left hand, and strong wrestling skills; but I was of the opinion Carlos Condit would crush him. Simply because of his striking prowess and active guard game. Hendricks went right at Condit early, and took him down whenever he wanted too. Condit did land some great shots of his own, and I like many, feel it may have gotten interesting if it were a five round fight. Hendricks deserves nothing but praise, he delivered a great performance, earned his first FOTN bonus, and will now face “GSP” next. When that will be is dependent on how significant the injury Hendricks suffered to his left hand during the fight.
There isn’t much negative discussion reserved for the “Natural Born Killer.” He proved once again he is one of the toughest outs in the 170 division, if not the whole sport. Condit show cased his striking and ground skills once again. While failing to defend Hendricks take downs, he was not held down on the ground for long. He also showed he has a great chin, eating a few of Hendricks patented left hands that put others to sleep. Condit earned his third ever FOTN bonus, and although it’s his second loss in a row, he has nothing to worry about as far as his job is concerned. I say put him against Rory MacDonald as originally planned.
He absolutely had the MMA world on a string leading up to the title fight with “GSP.” He still did after the fights conclusion during the post fight presser.
Diaz was dominated by “GSP” for most of the five rounds. He was never in any danger of being finished by the champion, but had no answer for his wrestling. He showed you his pedigree on the ground by avoiding many strike attempts, and escaping the champion’s attempts at securing hooks for an RNC choke attempt. Diaz failed to keep the fight in his world, and failed to rattle the champ inside the Octagon as much as he did out of it.
That being said he is still one of the best at 170lbs, and barring an early retirement that he mentioned once again, he will be back in another headliner soon. I say put him up against Jake Ellenberger, could be a barn burner!
Georges St Pierre
Yes it was his current fight, but it sure felt like watching a rerun. I know I was not alone in wishing to see “GSP” throw some caution to the wind and engage with Diaz for the majority of the fight. While the stats will show you he was on his feet with him for 12 minutes or so, he stayed with his game plan that has worked countless times prior. His jab, and his wrestling were the difference once again in is now record breaking eighth straight welterweight title defense. You have to give him credit for not allowing Diaz to box him like he would’ve liked to. Again we will hear that “GSP” failed to finish an opponent for the sixth time in a row, but you also have to give praise to the champion for once again nullifying his opponents best attributes. Can you name the last person who held Nick Diaz to landing fewer than 100 total strikes? According to Fight Metric Diaz threw 176 strikes landing only 80, with 41 being significant. That is what you call shutting down someones offense.
Can “GSP” shut down the left hand and wrestling of Johny Hendricks? Hard to argue that he can’t based on his resume. In the meantime enjoy what “GSP” did get a finish over on Saturday night–a piece of pizza while speaking with Ariel Helwani on FUEL TV.