Georges St-Pierre Knows Johny Hendricks Presents Challenges, but That’s Nothing New

August 12, 2013
41 Comments

Georges St Pierre Sept GSP 2012_1957Heading into his showdown with Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November, Georges St-Pierre is being told that his opponent has the perfect style match-up to defeat him.

That’s nothing he hasn’t heard before, and it’s not something that surprises the longtime UFC welterweight champion. He knows what he’s up against and relishes the challenge.

“He’s very well rounded, got knockout power, great, accomplished wrestler,” St-Pierre told MMAWeekly.com recently when assessing Hendricks. “He’s very skilled. He’s very athletic too.

“I’m very confident with my skill and I know he’s very confident with his. We’re going to solve our differences in the Octagon.”

Along with his power – Hendricks has knocked out the likes of Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann during his current six-fight winning streak – Hendricks brings the added element of being a left-handed fighter.

It’s a unique element, but as St-Pierre is keen to point out, there are always challenges to overcome no matter whom the opponent is.

“(Hendricks being a southpaw is) a problem, like any other problem he brings,” said St-Pierre, adding his training will prepare him for that element of Hendricks’ game. “I’m gonna spar with a lot of professional boxers that are southpaw.”

St-Pierre’s approach to the fight and his training is as methodical as it always is, regardless of the opposition.

Every time he nears a fight, his opponent brings an element that St-Pierre hasn’t faced before, but each time he manages to overcome his opposition.

Many people point to Chris Weidman’s recent upset of Anderson Silva, however, and say, “Hendricks could be the one. Hendricks could be St-Pierre’s Chris Weidman.”

St-Pierre is aware, especially after Anderson Silva’s upset, that no matter how great, any fighter can lose on any given day, but he has been on the wrong end of the upset before, losing his belt to Matt Serra. That was more than six years ago, however, and he hasn’t lost since.

“I had a lot of big fight in my career. Every fight I had something special that came up during the leading up to the fight. ‘He’s the most disrespectful guy. He’s the perfect match-up to beat you.’ It’s always something special,” said the champ.

“And for (the Hendricks) fight, maybe that’s the special thing that is coming up is that style match-up. Maybe people think he’s the perfect style match-up to beat me.

“I don’t think so. I think I’m going to win the fight and I’m going to beat him. There’s only one way to find out.”

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  • Mike mckinney

    Even Gsp fans have to know how this translates.
    What Gsp means to say…
    “He’s not a real big threat with submissions. Especially off his back. He has knock out power, and likes to strike. Which means I will get to shoot on him the entire fight. When I take him down ill stay in guard. When the ref yells that he may stand the fight up, I will move to half guard. Then when the ref yells at me again I will give up half guard, and go back to guard. Ill just move back and forth between these two positions until the round ends so I can repeat the process. Ill throw some little punches and forearms as well. That usually limits all that yelling the ref does. That sir is how a real Canadian… Err, I mean champion does it!” ;)

    The first guy to shoot has a big advantage. I’ve never understood why guys like kos, and Fitch didn’t try to shoot on Gsp before he shoots on them. There’s a huge difference between being a great wrestler, and being able to defend takedown attempts. It’s weird. Very few guys ever try to shoot on Gsp if for no other reason than to take him down before he can take you down. I personnely believe that’s the way to great Gsp. Kind of like penn did in the first round of his fight with Fitch. Fitch was clearly the better wrestler but good takedown defense is a whole other animal.

    • Ian Price

      Maybe he’ll try to shoot on GSP. It would DEFINITELY take Georges by surprise!

      • Werdoomb

        I am looking forward to that.

        I just don’t see Hendricks beating GSP, mostly because of the reach/height advantage GSP will be enjoying.

        GSP is an amazing dude. He out lays and prays top level wrestlers.

        • dgs

          “He out lays and prays top level wrestlers.”

          Yes, ever since the Serra KO this has been his style. Look at all the decision wins after Serra too, as prior to that fight he actually tried to finish his opponents.

          Yawn, wake me when this one is over. I really hope Hendricks wins, but St Pierre has really perfected his do just enough to win style. Anyone wanting to defeat this version of St Pierre will have to be ultra-aggressive and get off first, because once St Pierre gets into his “jab potshotting and take-downs with no damage” groove, it’s all over!

          • Kris-tyahn

            Another know it all …. “Do just enough to win”. Yeah those 50-45, 50-44 fights sure are close man, his last 6 fights I really didnt know who was going to win, bc like u said, he did just enough to win/dominate the best fighters in the world in the best division in all of MMA. Putting on a clinic vs world class opponents and making them look average is barely “just enough to win”, but haters keep hating. I think Ur confused with Ben Henderson!!

            You haters sure are funny, so pathetic & uneducated, it only proves how very little you know about MMA. It’s okay, you’ll always have boxing and prison fights on YouTube.

          • dgs

            Your love for GSP (if you avatar didn’t give you away, your ranting, nonsensical posts sure do) does nothing to change the fact GSP has become a boring, play-it-safe fighter ever since the Serra KO. Sure he wins, but his mostly decision wins since that KO (8 decision wins in 11 fights) can hardly be considering “dominating.”

            Me personally, I’ll be rooting for Hendricks, and will be cheering loud enough for the neighbors to hear if he KO’s GSP. Unfortunately, I’m sure GSP will win again in the same fashion I mentioned, and I’m sure your little pecker will get all hard when he does.

          • Sir_Roy

            What you fail to understand, is not finishing an opponent does not equal “playing it safe”.

            For starters, GSP has gone up against notorious top tier black belt BJJ specialists in the majority of his past outings (Condit, Diaz, Shields, even Alves) so submission attempts from top position are far easier said than done. GSP has openly admitted that he does not have one punch KO power in his tool kit – he doesn’t pretend otherwise. His finishing abilities have been limited by all these factors. Difference between “playing it safe” and being smart by optimizing your strengths.

            Christ, he won fight of the night, and justifiably so, not too long ago against Carlos … he had some brilliant exchanges in the pocket, avoided Carlos’ strong submission game in a dominant top position – a position wherein Hendricks was forced to let him up to neutralize it. GSP was easily coping.

            But hey, I hear the WWE is working some fantastic, dramatic magic into their wrestling matches. I suggest you go get your fix, then come back when you’re ready to appreciate the finer points of the sport.

        • Kris-tyahn

          Yeah he later and prayed vs. Koscheck for 30 secs out of 25 mins, wow you sure know what ur talking about. He did the same vs. Hughes, Fitch, Shields & Koscheck. How are you not a coach, even when the fight happens you still don’t know WTF ur talking about, talk about pathetic!!

      • TC

        Are you serious! Lets see hendricks shoot on GSP and what happens on the mat. Do you actually think hendricks has the education, experience, skill, knowledge, and hunger of GSP. I would love to have a chat with you after the fight.

    • Sir_Roy

      Yeah, I was taking your post half seriously till the “Canadian” Nationalistic crap. Weak. Take away the Canadians, Brazilians, Australians, Europeans, Mexican Americans, African Americans (and etc.)… and you lonely Caucasians in the good ole US of A ain’t left with a whole hell of a lot to write home about bud. Moral of the story? Best to leave race and nationality well out of it.

      To answer your question, as to why guys don’t just shoot on GSP before he does on them;

      1) You don’t understand “why not” because you have a gross under appreciation for GSP’s stand-up and, 2) you’re too tied to the GSP hate bandwagon to notice the intricacies in his game regardless. Including, but not limited to, how he uses said striking to perfectly set-up, and time, his take downs.

      But hey, you know oh so much insofar as what GSP can or cannot do, you must be right, his opponents just “let him” completely dominate them in every aspect of the sport because his style and method is just so gosh darn one dimensional and easy to neutralize (read: sarcasm).

      GSP is an amazing striker, phenomenal wrestler and has a strong submission game. He dominates in all those areas and creates game plans that frustrate every unique opponent whether it be standing or on the ground. *What he does appear to lack, is an aggressive drive to go for the finish*. He plays it safe. That is the only real intelligent criticism we can direct at him IMHO because he excels wheresoever the fight is found and with each and every number one contender thus far despite their stylistic differences.

      • Kris-tyahn

        lol yeah no kidding! A guy who posts on an MMA web site, who doesn’t understand why fighters don’t shoot on GSP first, before GSP does to them…. Well why didnt his opponents think of that? The GSP mystery has been solved, McKinney why aren’t you an MMA coach? You could make millions for your insight and clear knowledge of what to do vs. GSP! So what numbers should I pick for the next power ball lottery, mr know it all? Bahahahaha, if it was only as easy as to shoot in on a guy who has the best takedown defense in the WW division, which will mostlikely give him a number of advantageous & dangerous positions to choose from…. On the ground! FYI: Koscheck was only able to take GSP down twice in 40 mins, but according to coach Greg Jackson…. Errrr Mike McKinney, it’s easy, shoot in first and take him down….. Genius!

      • taylor2008

        GSP doesnt have great stand up. He has very good wrestling and mediocre submissions skills. He beats most people with a jab. Not much more. He does what he needs to do to win.
        I really like GSP and he is one of my favorite fighters….but Hendricks is going to catch him and KO him.

        • Sir_Roy

          Considering the competition he’s dominated in the stand-up, GSP DOES have a great stand-up game I’m afraid. Look what he did to Carlos – that takes more than a great “jab”. And besides, the “jab” is one of the, if not “the”, greatest tools in boxing if mastered, timed and rightly utilized. His submission skills I can acquiesce to – to an extent. His BJJ has been more evidenced in the subtleties of his game. Not falling for obvious (at times not so obvious) set-up attempts, neutralizing his opponent’s ground game, but yeah, he’s not shown himself to be a phenomenal submission specialist in the Octagon to be sure.

    • Cptmats

      You’re a tool !
      This Canadian would make you my bitch !

    • Brando

      Do you chant “USA” at your television whenever an American walks out? You should spend your time getting a better understanding of the sport and all of the hours of grueling mental and physical training it takes to be as good as GSP is. His athleticism, skill-set and game planning are unrivaled. Try basing your judgments on individual merits and accomplishments instead of nationality. Also Kos attempted 4 takedowns and Fitch attempted 5 takedowns. Do your homework or shut your mouth.

  • JDMMA

    GSP’s wrestling is the key to winning this bout, standing up, Hendricks’s reach isn’t enough

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      Then what was the key for guys like Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields and Matt Hughes? Those guys are all accomplished wrestlers.

      • JDMMA

        Wrestling… but Only Johnny Hendricks is NCAA Div 1 (2 times champ)

        • Chicago

          Who got out wrestled by Rick Story. And Rick got out wrestled by an undersized Charlie Brennamen who went 4-4 & got cut. not saying your wrong about the outcome because its a fight & who really knows. but how you did @ a college sport has little to do with this sport.

          • JDMMA

            yeah I agree, that’s what I wrote, GSP will win with his wrestling

          • Chicago

            Ah! got it.

          • Kris-tyahn

            I completely concur, NCAA wrestling means nothing in MMA. Last time checked, there was no punching, kicking, elbowing, kneeing or submissions in the NCAA.

            I find it so funny that EVERY fighter keeps saying the … “He’s never fought a fighter like me” – yeah, but more importantly they’ve never fought a fighter like GSP!!! I’ll bet GSP can find fighters who are more stylisticly closer to Hendricks style than Hendricks will find of GSP!

          • Sir_Roy

            While I agree with you on many points, this is where we disagree to an extent. NCAA wrestling does NOT mean “nothing”. While it certainly doesn’t mean “everything”, it means a heck of a lot. If I could choose one martial art to have mastered before heading into an MMA career, it would probably be a toss up between wrestling and BJJ – with Muay Thai coming in third.

            I would say, someone who’s trained a martial art (and I consider wrestling as such) all of their lives and excelled at said art, have a distinct and significant advantage going into MMA. A lot of GSP’s explosiveness comes from his Kyokushin Karate background (for example). And it’s this explosiveness that sees him shooting in so fast – along with being one of the only MMA stars who can still effectively use the “superman” punch in today’s MMA market.

            But man, you want half a chance at stuffing a take down or two from GSP, having an NCAA wrestling background sure as heck doesn’t hurt!!

          • JDMMA

            Ben Askren from being a pure wrestler now has become a well-rounded MMA fighter,,,

        • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

          Josh Koscheck four-time NCAA Division I All-American (placing 4th, 2nd, 1st and 3rd respectively), Koscheck is a three-time recipient of the PSAC Wrestler of the Year award and earned the Eastern Wrestling League Achievement Award twice. Matt Hughes two-time NCAA Division I All-American placing eighth in 1996 and fifth in 1997 at 158 lb. He finished with an 80-15 record. GSP wrecked both of them in wrestling. I do like Hendricks style though.

        • Cptmats

          Gsp has out wrestled better wrestlers than Hendricks !

          • TC

            thank you! hendricks does not stand an chance.

  • dan

    I can tell you exactly how this is gonna go: Takedown, zzzzzzzzz, 50-45 GSP

    • Roy’s beard

      This fight will not go to a decision. GSP will finish Hendricks!!

      • jeremy

        Ya because he likes to finish people and does so often ;)

        • Kris-tyahn

          Yeah bc he fights guys who have 2-4 losses with an avg if 20+ fights, and out of those 2-4 losses they were only finished once which was early in their career. Then after GSP embaresses them, they just aren’t the same fighter again.

          Why don’t you check out how many losses his opponents have and then how many times they were finished. Before they fought him.

        • TC

          You should do a bit more homework on GSP. If you think Hendricks is going to easily finish (like he does so often like the fight with Condit) then learn more about what you are typing about..

      • Cptmats

        At least there is one person with a brain around here !
        Hendricks barely survived three rds.with Condit, no way he can go five with George.

  • Sir_Roy

    GSP wins via submission in the 4th or 5th is the more likely outcome.
    He might lose, because hey, we can’t ignore Hendrick’s KO power. If he does, it’ll most likely be in the 1st or 2nd rounds.
    Hendricks gets dragged into deep water in championship rounds, and drowns is my official prediction.

  • bajafox

    The only way this fight will be exciting is if they both down a gallon of Red Bull right before the first bell

  • Guest

    Being an accomplished wrestler doesn’t translate into good take downs. There are a lot of other ways to score points in a wrestling match than taking them down, reversals, exposure, etc. So sometimes the NCAA D1 champ may only have an average “shot”, but good scrambles, reversals, etc.

  • John A

    To be honest, love GSP as a person, but as a fighter, though supremely talented- he’s evolved into a cautious bore. Looking for Hendricks to do his thing and catch him for a KO/TKO win.

  • Maven

    I’m rooting for Hendricks to KO GSP with that thunderous left hand of his. His conditioning will certainly be a factor after the 2nd round, so Johnny needs to show no respect and just crack him one, because the later rounds favor the champ. GSP’s chin rarely gets tested because he’s so skilled at timing and power avoidance. This is the key area where Johnny needs to get inside fast and brawl early.

    • TC

      Good luck to your man Hendricks. Really. He is going to need a lot more then luck and a strong left hand.

  • asnow

    I really hope Gsp takes the fall on this one so Rory can come in and sweep Hendricks out and they can bring the belt back to tristar for a long time.

  • TC

    Come on, lets face it GSP haters. GSP does not have to finish his fights to win. If he wanted to just finish fights then it would go against everything he believes in as a martial artist. How many rounds has he won in the last six years? Do your homework and come back here and trash talk GSP about not finishing fights!!!!!!!!
    Sorry to tell you that Mr Hendricks does not even come close to standing a chance against an intelligent fighter like GSP. Do you think GSP is not going to prepare for the left hand power punch of Hendricks and years and years of Karate, Jujitsu and years and years of MMA training is going to have a guy like GSP let himself be caught by a left hand.
    Can’t wait for the fight night! Can’t wait to read back through this stuff you guys post about about GSP who is a true gentleman, master to the sport, respectful, and extremely dangerous champion.
    Someday you will all see and read about GSP who was the profit of mixed martial arts.