Everything has to line up just right for welterweight contender Johny Hendricks to get his UFC title shot, but at least the odds aren't heavily against him.
That's a far more generous spread than GSP's past competitors have gotten, although it isn't the closest line ever offered to one of his opponents.
For reference, here's how Hendricks' opening odds stack up against St-Pierre's past competition, compared with GSP's betting lines since his 2007 rematch with Matt Hughes:
• UFC 16?: Johny Hendricks +175 (-225)
• UFC 158: Nick Diaz +310 (-430)
• UFC 154: Carlos Condit +225 (-315)
• UFC 129: Jake Shields +350 (-550)
• UFC 124: Josh Koscheck +280 (-360)
• UFC 111: Dan Hardy +300 (-500)
• UFC 100: Thiago Alves +210 (-270)
• UFC 94: B.J. Penn +140 (-180)
• UFC 87: Jon Fitch +180 (-220)
• UFC 83: Matt Serra +350 (-430)
• UFC 79: Matt Hughes +165 (-205)
Looking at the data, betting books haven't set an opening line for a GSP bout this close since the champion's UFC 94 superfight with B.J. Penn.
To Hendricks' credit, underdog status is rare for him—out of his 11 UFC bouts, he has been the favorite against everyone but Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Carlos Condit.
Hendricks' line against St-Pierre hasn't shifted yet, as online betting site "Sportsbook" is currently the sole betting source being quoted by BestFightsOdds.
Moreover, St-Pierre vs. Hendricks hasn't even been confirmed yet, as MMA Fighting reports that GSP's camp hopes for the champion to stay out of combat for six months to recover from an alleged Achilles injury that hindered him at UFC 158.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans Radio, MMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.
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