Although plenty of fans and pundits believe Johny Hendricks is the greatest challenge UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has ever faced, at the end of the day, the latter is the favourite to win at UFC 167. While GSP is unquestionably one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighters, another reason many folks believe he’ll continue his reign, is because of how much experience he has. Not only does he have more pro bouts under his belt than Hendricks, he’s been fighting the best-of-the-best for years.
Case in point, if he wins Saturday night, GSP will have defended the welterweight belt 9 times. Only Anderson Silva has defended a championship more (ten times). When Hendricks turned pro in 2007, GSP had already defeated Matt Hughes to become UFC champ.
So, does Hendricks buy into the argument that St. Pierre will hold an experience advantage come Saturday night? Could nerves be more of a problem for “Bigg Rigg” since this will be his first UFC title fight? Well, not surprisingly, the decorated wrestler says no (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“Man, I’ve been under the lights since my freshmen year in high school,” Hendricks said. “I wrestled 140 matches in high school. I wrestled 140 matches in college. That spotlight doesn’t get much more than that. I’ve been competing my whole life. Who cares about the spotlight? Who cares about all this other crap? I’m facing a man. I’m facing Georges St-Pierre. You see what I’m saying? Experience? I have plenty of experience.”
Of course, GSP boosters could argue that none of that compares to the magnitude of what will transpire November 16th, but Hendricks certainly hasn’t seemed bothered by the ‘bright lights’ thus far. It should be an edge of your seat kind of night.
UFC 167 will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay tuned to Fightline.com for all your MMA news and coverage.