UFC 167: GSP Vs Hendricks
The highest PPV draw that the UFC has to offer is back in the Octagon on Saturday to defend his Welterweight title. It seems ages since Georges St-Pierre graced the octagon but the trailers have certainly reminded me of what a legend in the sport he is and got me excited for this fight card!
Georges St-Pierre vs Johny Hendricks – UFC Welterweight Title
We have had some shocks in title fights recently with Jon Jones winning a tight decision victory and Anderson Silva being knocked out, now GSP puts his long term belt on the line. Many are tipping Hendricks for a victory and billing this as GSP’s hardest test to date but how many times have we seen GSP dominate contenders in their preferred discipline? Matt Hughes’ and Josh Koscheck’s wrestling, BJ Penn’s and Nick Diaz’s boxing and ground game, whatever the challenge has been, GSP has risen to it and dominated. Hendricks has great wrestling credentials but so have many of GSP’s previous opponents, the one thing Hendrick’s may possess that others didn’t is devastating knockout power in his left hand but with a huge reach advantage for GSP and his impeccable game plans, he may have trouble landing it.
Prediction: Georges St-Pierre via TKO
Rashad Evans vs Chael Sonnen
Two friends collide in the co-main event which has at least limited the trash talking by Sonnen, probably saving it up for his upcoming Ultimate Fighter stint opposite Wanderlei Silva. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find Evans an irritating and boring fighter to watch. Sure, he has highlight reel knockouts against an old Chuck Liddell and Sean Salmon but more often than not he just seems to fight for the decision and don’t even get me started on the constant flapping of his hand to judge distance! I hope Sonnen wins this fight convincingly and his mind isn’t already focused on Wanderlei.
Prediction: Sonnen via TKO
Rory Macdonald vs Robbie Lawler
This has fight of the night written all over it and one which is greatly anticipated. Lawler is always exciting and leaves nothing in the cage, couple that with a serious ability to finish fights and you generally get fireworks. Macdonald is highly rated, well rounded and on a five fight win streak so will be looking for a solid performance to get himself a shot at the title after this event. A win for either fighter will definitely put them into the title picture and while Macdonald is the favourite, no-one will be surprised to see Lawler come out on top.
Prediction: Lawler via TKO
Josh Koscheck vs Tyron Woodley
Koscheck now seems to be the gatekeeper for the Welterweight division and while he has some great wins on his record, there are also a lot of losses and this may be because he often seems to take fights on short notice. Considering the current Welterweight landscape, there are a lot of high profile wrestlers, including Koscheck so if you get dominated in that department, there is no point knocking on the door of GSP, Hendricks, Fitch and the like. This actually makes Koscheck a very valuable and suited gatekeeper but I’m sure a few more wins won’t do him any harm. Tyron Woodley is coming off a split decision loss to Jake Shields and fought for the Strikeforce belt last year so obviously can hang with the elite in this weight class but a loss would make him 1-2 in the UFC which isn’t a great place to be.
Prediction: Koscheck via Decision
Tim Elliot vs Ali Bagautinov
This is an interesting flyweight bout as both fighters are very well rounded and will be able to finish this both on the feet and on the ground. If Lawler vs Macdonald doesn’t get fight of the night then this could also be a decent shout. The only worry is that these two just cancel each other out but I think we should see a fast paced fight with numerous transitions.
Prediction: Bagautinov via Decision
UFC 167 Prelims Predictions
Donald Cerrone vs Evan Dunham – Cerrone via Decision
Ed Herman vs Thales Leites – Leites via TKO
Brian Ebersole vs Rick Story – Story via TKO
Erik Perez vs Edwin Figueroa Perez via Submission
Jason High vs Anthony Lapsley – High via Decision
Will Campuzano vs Sergio Pettis – Pettis via Submission
Cody Donovan vs Gian Villante – Donovan via TKO
GSP is always worth a watch, here are the viewing times:
Online prelims: Saturday 16th 23:30
Prelims – BT Sport: Sunday 17th 01:00
Main card – BT Sport: Sunday 17th 03:00
Like it? Love it? Hate it? What are your predictions?