Georges St-Pierre: Johny Hendricks Is a Better Opponent for GSP Than Silva

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2012

Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada;  Georges St-Pierre reacts after the fifth round of his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre.  St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision.  Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

After Georges St-Pierre's dominant return to action against Carlos Condit, his next trip to the cage should be a title defense against Johny Hendricks.

St-Pierre showed once again why he is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the UFC. Despite a devastating injury that would have debilitated most mere mortals, St-Pierre looked just as good and sharp as ever has after an 18-month layoff.

With no defenses of the actual welterweight championship and one bout to determine the interim championship, the welterweight division has been seriously stagnant over the last year-and-a-half.

While some would love to see a superfight between pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva and GSP, his next fight clearly needs to be a title defense against Johny Hendricks.

For one, the UFC can't afford to put the welterweight division on hold once again.

The injury to St-Pierre created quite the log jam of contenders awaiting their shot at the title. The supposed solution of pitting Nick Diaz against Carlos Condit for the interim title didn't do much to solve the issue. It gave fans a controversial fight to argue about but only produced one "title" fight in GSP's absence.

Now that we have an undisputed welterweight champion, the division is supposed to be put on hold once again?

If GSP wants to pursue a fight with Anderson Silva, he should be forced to relinquish the championship. Forcing fighters to wait due to injuries is one thing, but making the division wait because the champion wants to pursue a fight outside of the division is quite another.

If there were no clear-cut contender waiting in the wings at 170 pounds, a superfight might be the way to go.

Silva has held up the middleweight division at times during his reign to pursue fights in the 205-pound weight division. However, there was no clear-cut, No. 1 contender in the middleweight division like there is now.

Hendricks has done more than enough to have a rightful claim to his chance for UFC gold. He has shown that he has the power to knock out the best in the division with a win over Martin Kampmann in 46 seconds and a win over Jon Fitch in 12 seconds.

He has shown that he has the cardio to go the distance with some of the best wrestlers in the class in decision wins over Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce.

Since St-Pierre's last title defense against Jake Shields, Hendricks has remained busy with three impressive victories over elite welterweight competition.

As tempting as a superfight between Silva and St-Pierre may be, Hendricks' resume is too good to ignore right now.