Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger has got the MMA world yammering about '"exciting versus boring" in the context of what takes place when the door to the Octagon is slammed shut.
Boring could be translated to smart or effective, depending on who you ask. Smart, boring, whatever you want to call it won out when MacDonald stymied Ellenberger. The battle of juxtaposing superlatives will wage on when champ Georges St-Pierre takes on Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
Hendricks will look to strike up a convo. St-Pierre will look to snuff out his attempt at banter. GSP will lay it on thick with his top game while "Big Rig" will try to lighten things up with his power punching. The French Canadian is thinking jab and takedown—rinse, wash and repeat—while the Dallas, Texas native really wants to feel good by breaking something.
Speaking at Monday's UFC World Tour 2013 stop in Las Vegas (h/t MMAJunkie), Hendricks waxed poetic about what he plans on doing when he steps in the cage opposite GSP.
I don't want to take 'GSP' down, I want to lay him out. That's all I want to do. That's what the fans want to see, and I know I have the power in both hands to do it. I will bite on my mouthpiece and eat a jab to land a right or a left hand on his jaw line. That's the difference. Punch me in the face, I'll punch you twice as hard.
When I'm in there, my goal is to break someone's jaw. Let them forget who they are that night. Let them wake up the next morning and go, 'What the hell happened?' That's my goal every fight. If he's going to sit there and do that jab, watch. I'll bite on the mouthpiece. I'll eat one to throw my left or right hand all day long.
Hendricks is saying all the right things. Or at least saying what Dana White and every fan wants to hear (not that Dana is specifically rooting for his popular champ to lose, but he is a fan of "exciting" fights).
But will his talk translate into actually touching the champ's chin and knocking his lights out? That is a tall order. Whether or not Hendricks can seal the deal is why so many are ready for them to get it on.
At least he will make it exciting. Or attempt to make it exciting.
If the affair is anything like GSP's fight with Koscheck, we will be watching the champ put on a jab clinic. And it won't be Hendricks doing any breaking, rather it'll be St-Pierre. Who can forget what Koscheck's eye looked like after Curious George showed us what a face mutates into after breaking the orbital bone?
So while Hendricks has committed to being footloose and fancy free, it in no way guarantees anything. Not a win. Not excitement. It will be on St-Pierre to be a willing dance partner. Don't count on that.
GSP wants to win. He is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that. That takes commitment when verbal venom like "safe" or "boring" is flying at your face from all angles. It may as well be molten lava.
And if Hendricks loses, at least he can sleep at night knowing he did everything he could to be exciting, while also trying to win. He is a man of principles—at least we can give him that.