GSP vs. Hendricks: Analyzing Each Fighter's Most Important Weapon

image from UFC on Instagram
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 15, 2013

When Georges St-Pierre defends his UFC welterweight title against Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks on Saturday night in Las Vegas, there is no secret what weapon GSP will have to be wary of. 

 

Hendricks' Furious Left Hand

May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;   Johny Hendricks (left) fights Josh Koscheck in a welterweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Johny Hendricks won by split decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Hendricks has obliterated opponents with his powerful striking ability, namely his lethal left hand. The thunderous punch ended Martin Kampmann's night and a few of Hendricks' other opponents. He has scored a KO in eight of his 15 wins.

Analyzing Hendricks' Wins
WinsKOsKOs By Punches
Johny Hendricks1587
Sherdog.com

As tough as GSP is, if Hendricks clocks him, he's going to sleep like every other fighter "Big Rigg" has connected against.

The challenger also has a solid wrestling background, though he has depended on his striking prowess to rise to his current status in the UFC. Hendricks is a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion (2005 and 2006 at Oklahoma State), yet even with his accolades, he won't be the best wrestler in the Octagon on Saturday night.

 

GSP's Ground Game

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Georges St.Pierre (red) throws punches at Nick Diaz (blue) on the mat during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Georges St-Pierre is quite possibly the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the sport.

GSP's Wrestling Dominance
Takedown AccuracyTakedown Defense
Georges St-Pierre76 percent86 percent
FightMetric.com

His counter-takedowns are a thing of beauty. According to FightMetric.com, GSP is successful on 76 percent of his takedown attempts. Hendricks only hits 50 percent of his. Think GSP is padding his numbers against fighters who are weak in the wrestling department? Think again.

Against renowned wrestler and MMA legend Matt Hughes, GSP took his opponent down on 6-of-6 attempts. As good as Hendricks' background in wrestling is, he'll be hard-pressed to gain a grappling advantage over GSP.

The champion stuffed all of Hughes' attempts to take him down and he has stopped 86 percent of the takedown attempts against him in the UFC. In fact, GSP hasn't been taken down in a fight since his rematch with Josh Koscheck in 2010.

Koscheck managed to land one of his four attempts to ground the champion. 

Hendricks' best and only chance to win is to stand and connect. He has a puncher's chance for sure and he is quite a puncher, but it seems more likely GSP's grappling will lead him to yet another victory.

 

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