Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks earned a shot at welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre with his decision victory against Carlos Condit at UFC 158, so he’ll get to fight for the belt later on this year.
St. Pierre’s boxing coach, Freddie Roach, finds Hendricks to be rather predictable.
“We got the gameplan pretty much down already,” Roach explained during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “We’re working on it. He’s always looking for that big shot. You know, he’s a veteran wrestler, of course, a good wrestler, but he doesn’t even like to wrestle. He depends on that big left hand. So he doesn’t even want to go to the ground too much… He’s not real difficult to figure out.”
Hendricks was informed about the comments coming out of GSP’s camp during a recent interview, but it didn’t seem to bother him one bit.
“I’ll tell you my game plan, I’m gonna hit you with my left, if that doesn’t work I’m gonna try to take you down, if that doesn’t work I’m gonna find a way to win Georges. Easy as that,” Hendricks retorted.”One thing that he cannot prepare for is my heart, my speed and my determination to win. He says to everybody, ‘You’ve not faced anybody like me.’ Well guess what, he’s never faced a 208-pound, 170 welterweight that has power and is a true wrestler.”
Hendricks (15-1-0, 8 KOs) has every reason to be confident about his chances against GSP (24-2-0, 8 KOs), considering the fact he seems to have all the tools needed to emerge victorious against the long-time welterweight champion. Johny packs tremendous power in his hands, his left in particular, coupled with a solid wrestling base that just might be good enough to thwart St. Pierre’s takedowns.
Then there’s the question of GSP’s chin.
St. Pierre was knocked out by — now retired — Matt Serra at UFC 69, and Condit hurt him badly with a head kick during their title clash. The Canadian clearly panicked when Serra hurt him with a looping right hand, but he weathered the storm a lot better when Condit caught him at UFC 154, enduring the latter’s attempt to end the fight, eventually regaining momentum.
However, there are rarely any second chances when Hendricks is involved.
“Bigg Rigg” packs serious power in his punches, he’s extremely good at closing the distance inside the Octagon, and he has already compiled an impressive list of knockout victims like Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. GSP might be the newest addition to that list if any of Hendricks’ left hooks get past his guard when they collide.