Johny Hendricks finally got the title belt that he won four months ago. At UFC 167 in November Johny Hendricks literally beat GSP into retirement. Hendricks got shafted by the judges that night when they somehow awarded a the win to to GSP by decision. Hendricks left GSP a beaten bloody mess with cuts all over his face and not a scratch on Hendricks. GSP decided he would rather quit the sport than give Hendricks a rematch. This past Saturday at UFC 171 the now vacant title was decided in a match between the top two contenders in the division; Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. The fight when the full five rounds and Hendricks won by decision. There is no controversy this time around. Although Hendricks beat up Lawler less than he beat up GSP, he was awarded the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Much like Shogun Rua before him, Hendricks had to wait for karma to get involved in the fight after he got screwed out of winning a world title.
Hendricks is a great fighter who is also actually entertaining to watch. Unlike Lyoto Machida who is the UFC version of watching paint dry. Though his recent move to 185 has seen Machida be a little more spry and slightly more aggressive, likely because he sees the end of his career is much closer than the beginning. Hendricks however is just getting started. Whether he’s got that belt or not, “Bigg Rigg” has five more years of fighting left in the gas tank. He’s a young guy, with great wrestling, concrete hands, who likes to finish. This was only his second fight going to the judges in his last six.
There have been a number of horrendous decisions in mixed martial arts in the last few years. Dana White, the UFC President has been as outspoken about them as anyone. But what the judges do is completely out of his hands as they are appointed by state athletic commissions. What White can control is encouraging his fighters to not let fights reach decisions. He flat-out says that, and gives bonuses for finishing fights that are equal to or greater than the standard paycheck a fighter receives simply for fighting.
Hendricks has already picked up a few KO of the night checks and will likely be getting more fight of the night honors before his career is over. One has to wonder if GSP will come out of hiding for a rematch with Hendricks. The money is there, but that is a given for GSP who is the highest grossing box office fighter in UFC history. But there interest with the hardcore fans will be ravenous. Hendricks has the belt and everyone knows he got screwed by the judges in their first fight, but who doesn’t want to see Hendricks get another crack at GSP?
That answer is simple, GSP and all of his future spouses. Hendricks left him a beaten, bloody mess in their first encounter. It isn’t often a fighter literally gets beaten into retirement as Hendricks did to GSP at UFC 167. Or maybe GSP retired in disgrace because the fans wouldn’t stop booing him after the BS decision win, whichever…whatever. Johnny Hendricks knows he won that fight, and after winning his most recent fight he’s got the belt, the recognition, the cheddar, and everything he’s had coming to him since he started destroying his competition in the UFC four years ago. Justice came for Johny Hendricks on Saturday at UFC 171, for those who saw the GSP fight, it felt as good for us as it does for Bigg Rigg.