GSP vs. Hendricks: Keys to Victory for Rush and Bigg Rigg

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 16, 2013

Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Georges St.Pierre during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, Nov. 16, UFC 167 will play host to a Welterweight championship fight between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. It will be St-Pierre's ninth defense of the belt that he won in April of 2008.

The question is, what must both fighters do to achieve victory in this high-stakes affair?

This is a meeting between fighters of two entirely different legacies. St-Pierre is a Hall of Fame fighter, while Hendricks is a rising force who has been dominant during his career in UFC, but hasn't received the opportunity to fight for a title.

Now, respect will be put aside for one night as the legend faces the budding star.

So how will all of this be decided?


Keys for Hendricks

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Johny Hendricks (blue) lands a punch on Carlos Condit (red) during their main card bout at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Hendricks is a lesser-known commodity, but that doesn't make him any less dangerous of an opponent. He's 15-1 overall and 10-1 since joining UFC in 2009, earning three Knockout of the Night and one Fight of the Night awards.

Most recently, the 30-year-old from Ada, Oklahoma defeated Carlos Condit by unanimous decision to earn this meeting with St-Pierre.

Hendricks has carved out a very successful UFC career by flashing powerful fists to keep opponents honest. He's proven capable of pulling out knockouts when a fighter gets too close, and when necessary, he can take a foe down to the mat.

For as dangerous as he is as a wrestler, Hendricks needs to keep this fight at a vertical base.

Since joining UFC, Hendricks has five knockout and TKO victories in 11 fights. He's also never gone a full five rounds, which puts a mountain of pressure on his being able to land body shots and end the fight early against GSP.

If he's able to do that, he may just win the welterweight title.


Keys for St-Pierre

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Georges St.Pierre gives an interview to Joe Rogan after defeating Nick Diaz (not pictured) in their Welterweight title bout at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

St-Pierre is an established UFC legend, achieving a career record of 24-2 with a span of almost seven years between his most recent loss and his upcoming fight. He last fought on March 16, 2013, when he defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision to retain the title.

That eight-month layoff has some concerned that the 32-year-old's stamina may not be at its highest point.

It's rare that one could call that into question considering St-Pierre is one of the most well-conditioned athletes in MMA history. He's used his unparalleled defensive skills and masterful tactics on the mat to become one of the most decorated fighters to ever grace a ring.

Those defensive skills will be key in this fight.

Much like Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing, St-Pierre knows how to keep a powerful fighter at a distance. Seeing as Hendricks has knockout potential, St-Pierre will be in a position to win by using leg kicks to keep Hendricks honest and maintain a responsible attack on the mat in response to Hendricks' prowess as a wrestler.

It may seem obvious, but St-Pierre will win by doing one thing: fighting his natural style.