Johny Hendricks fights for the UFC welterweight title this weekend, but should he be defending it?
Hendricks is fighting inside the cage for the first time since his highly controversial decision loss to recently retired Georges St-Pierre, and many were in uproar after the judges’ scorecards were read. Some even scored the fight four rounds-to-one in Hendricks favour, though Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato contributed to what many see as the biggest robbery in MMA history.
So, how will this all affect Hendricks’ mindset coming into his eagerly awaited fight with Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title? It can go one of two ways:-
Hendricks could come into the fight demoralised and thinking the world is against him, a costly mindset against a fighter with the brutal power of ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler. This would be excusable, Hendricks put in a tremendous performance against St-Pierre and came away empty handed.
Or Hendricks could be more focused, better conditioned to dominate for all five rounds or, alternatively, not let the fight go to the judges at all. One criticism to give Hendricks regarding his fight with St-Pierre, and in many ways this is a natural aspect of a man fighting a full five rounds for the first time, is that he seemed to take a breather in certain rounds. In the later stages of the second and throughout the third round, ‘Bigg Rigg’ slowed and those were two of the closer rounds of the five round war.
This is going to be an incredible affair between two much improved welterweights on a mission to get UFC gold who have made it look easy against some of the most talented fighters at 170lbs. Both are, arguably, coming into the fight off the back of their best performances to date, and it will be interesting who comes in the better prepared, better conditioned fighter with the bigger will to win.
Do you believe Hendricks should be defending the welterweight title for the first time? Answer in the poll below, and feel free to give your reasoning in the comments or via Twitter: @cagepagesFS.