This past weekend at UFC 162 we saw the UFC Middleweight Championship change hands for the first time in seven years when Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva. On November 16 at UFC 167, Johny Hendricks (15-1) will look to usurp Georges St-Pierre (24-2), who has reigned as champion of the welterweight division since 2007.
While some may find Weidman’s underdog story compelling, Hendricks saw two sides of the coin in his triumph over Silva.
“It’s a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is, there’s a new champion. The bad thing is, we’ve seen [Silva showboat], we’ve seen him – but, just not as bad as he did in this fight.”
At any rate, Hendricks isn’t expecting any taunting tactics out of St-Pierre. He’s anticipating a war.
Following UFC 162’s jaw dropping title fight, UFC President Dana White told reporters that many people believe that Hendricks is the guy to beat St-Pierre. White also noted that Hendricks has the ability to give GSP trouble since “you can’t take him down and he has sick knockout power.”
“You train, you do everything, you’ve done everything that you could, and to know that your boss believes in you that you can beat Georges St-Pierre means everything. That’s just confidence that you can shock the world,” Hendricks said. “The only difference is Georges won’t have his hands down. I want to knock him out, but I want his hands to be up. I want to punch people’s hands and I wanna lay him out the right way.”
In addition, “Bigg Rigg” claims to have more power than he’s ever revealed inside the Octagon, which he plans to unleash against the champ.
“The only people who know my true power are people that I’ve wrestled and that’s about it. That’s what I’m excited to bring out is that kind of intensity, that kind of power that I haven’t shown the world yet, and I plan to do that in November.”
From the tale of the tape Hendricks and his training staff have analyzed in advance of fighting GSP, he’s prepared for the wrestling and jabs he knows are coming. But the hardest part for Hendricks, in his own words, is being able to stop it.
Although the physical gameplan is clear, Hendricks looks to build a winning mentality. After all, dethroning a dominant champion like St-Pierre is something he realizes will be no easy feat.
“That’s the hardest part is stepping in against a guy who’s had the belt since forever ago. The most important thing is that I believe that’s my belt. He’s just holding onto it for me.”
The battle for the UFC Welterweight Championship will take place at UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 16.