Let me start this off by saying that I was stunned by the UFC 167 decision in the main-event. I thought Hendricks won the fight and he was robbed of the title. I just want to make that clear before I am accused of being some GSP fan boy who believed the champion won the fight. I don’t but at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter.
Johny Hendicks has nobody to blame for this mess but Johny Hendricks. Hendricks’ corner told him he had the fight in the bag before the fifth round. They told him to “go get your belt.” Obviously they were misinformed and probably have more culpability here than anyone. On the other side of the octagon you had GSP’s corner telling him he needed to win rounds. I think it is fair to say that Hendricks came out looking not to lose the fight while GSP coming out looking to win in the fifth round. That is not a judge or GSP’s fault and Johny Hendricks, Dana White, and Hendricks’ fans need to live with that.
I think it is funny how some of the smartest people in MMA are making complete fools of themselves when analyzing this fight. Whether it is the UFC’s own president, the number one contender or UFC’s own color commentator, it would appear that many within the company don’t understand the rules. Everyone who thought Hendricks won pointed to GSP’s face. Unfortunately for Hendricks what a fighter’s looks like isn’t accounted for in the judging. Maybe it was by design but the idea that the UFC president is out there spreading some conspiracy theory because of what one fighter looked like before looking at the fight metrics is beyond ridiculous to me.
Speaking of fight metrics, the metrics tell an interesting story. Unfortunately they don’t clear much up. The metrics on FightMetric.com gave Hendricks the deciding first round. Yet they also give GSP an overall performance rating of 48 as compared to Hendricks’ 47. GSP landed one more significant strike than Hendricks did in the first round. GSP landed overall 101 significant strikes to Hendricks 85. In other words there was no robbery here. It was close and in the end it could have went either way.
This all comes back to the fifth round in my eyes. Hendricks looked fresh and had a chance to close it out. Instead he arguably coasted and it cost him the round and the fight. How does anyone deserve any kind of rematch under those circumstances? He let the fight get away from him and that is something he’ll have to live with.
It was a close fight but it certainly wasn’t a robbery. GSP owes Johny Hendricks nothing. If Hendricks wants it, go get it the hard way. Earn it!