Former UFC welterweight interim titleholder Carlos Condit has fought both St-Pierre and Hendricks and was asked his opinion on the title bout during a recent edition of UFC Tonight.
“I think Johny Hendricks has a puncher’s chance,” said Condit. “He’s obviously a big puncher. He’s got the power to make it a short night for GSP, but I feel like GSP is going to out-technique Johny Hendricks.”
It’s sometimes forgotten that St-Pierre comes from a striking background. His karate base has been expanded with additions of possibly the best wrestling in mixed martial arts as well as a strong technical boxing game.
He has an effective jab, but has largely become a point striker. Hendricks knocks people out. Half of his wins have come by knockout, while St-Pierre has not finished an opponent since 2009. Few would disagree that St-Pierre has the more versatile striking arsenal and is the more technical striker between the two, but Hendricks’ punching power makes him a more dangerous striker.
While Hendricks has the advantage in punching power, Condit believes it will be St-Pierre’s wrestling that will be the determining factor in the fight.
“I think his wrestling, and I’m not an expert on wrestling, but I think his wrestling is going to make the difference and Georges is going to be able to take him down and control the fight,” he said.
St-Pierre is widely regarded as having some of the best wrestling in the sport. He’s adapted to grappling like a chameleon to its background, but Hendricks has the better wrestling credentials on paper.
A two-time NCAA wrestling champion and four-time NCAA wrestling All-American, Hendricks may pose the greatest threat to St-Pierre’s wrestling dominance in the welterweight division.
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