Johny Hendricks may have to shock the world twice to be UFC champion.
At the UFC 167 pre-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White was asked whether Georges St-Pierre would get the Anderson Silva treatment and receive an immediate rematch if he loses to Hendricks.
While White never gave a direct answer, he leaned towards St-Pierre still being the No. 1 contender even if he loses on Saturday night:
We’ll see what happens. Obviously, Georges St-Pierre has had the belt since 2007, and before that, he had the belt and he lost to Matt Serra. All fights are different. We’ll see what happens and see how everything plays out. I mean it would be kind of a weird thing to not see Georges St-Pierre get another shot at the title. It would be hard to say that he’s probably not the number one contender even if he loses the belt on Saturday night.
Hendricks has already gone through six opponents just to get the opportunity to challenge St-Pierre for the welterweight title.
It’s going to be hard enough defeating arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world once. Can you imagine being asked to do it twice in a row?
UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman certainly feels Hendricks’ pain. After shocking the world and defeating Anderson Silva in July, Weidman’s first title defense will come against Silva in an immediate rematch scheduled for December’s UFC 168 fight card.
On the flip side, St-Pierre and Silva are easily the most dominant fighters in UFC history. Silva holds a UFC record of 10 consecutive title defenses, and St-Pierre sits right behind him with eight.
A win on Saturday night would give St-Pierre 20 victories inside the Octagon, which would break the UFC record he currently shares with Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. There is also the fact that St-Pierre is by far the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw. If Hendricks does manage to pull off the upset, one can only imagine how big a rematch would be.
People love to put all of the pressure on the champion, but after White’s comments, Hendricks’ shoulders have to be feeling just a little bit heavier.