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UFC 167 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from St-Pierre vs. Hendricks

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterNovember 17, 2013

UFC 167 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from St-Pierre vs. Hendricks

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    The UFC celebrated its 20th anniversary with the biggest star in the sport's history defending his welterweight title in front of a star-studded audience that included a bevy of UFC Hall of Famers and celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    The theme of the evening, of the entire event promotion, was evolution. Much was written, and even more said, about how far the sport had come in the last two decades. And the man who, perhaps, exemplified that more than any other is long-time champion Georges St-Pierre.

    St-Pierre has made a career out of being able to do it all. Off his back, he has the submission game to keep any opponent honest. Standing he can outstrike almost any grappler with a solid jab and a variety of kicks. And, should he fall short standing, he's shown an ability to take almost anyone to the mat. It's a combination of talents that has made him very successful—and very rich.

    None of that seemed like it was enough against Johny Hendricks, the two-time NCAA champion with the killer left hand. Hendricks beat St-Pierre standing and controlled the wrestling en route to very nearly winning the welterweight championship.

    Hendricks cut St-Pierre early, then wobbled him with a left uppercut in the second round. The remainder of the fight was closely contested, with St-Pierre using volume striking and Hendricks relying on power and the occasional takedown.

    In the end, judges sided with the champion in a split decision. The crowd rained boos on St-Pierre as he had his hand raised. Although he may not have felt like a winner, or, with his battered and bruised face looked like one, St-Pierre reigned supreme.

    As the broadcast went off the air St-Pierre seemingly retired in the cage, saying he had business in his personal life that he needs to take care off. It was unclear whether that was a retirement or a sabbatical of sorts, as the champion used language that hinted at an eventual return. 

    It was a crazy night, one in which St-Pierre was not the only winner. I looked at every televised fight to share my thoughts and the real winners and losers on the night.

    Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

     

Real Winner: Johny Hendricks

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    Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

    Result

    Georges St-Pierre def. Johny Hendricks, Split-decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

     

    Real Winner

    Johny Hendricks. Bleacher Report and much of the MMA media scored the fight for Hendricks. And, though he didn't win the title, he certainly announced himself as a major star in the mixed martial arts world. 

    Was this a classic boxing decision, with the promoter and crowd favorite getting a nod he didn't deserve? The truth is, many of the rounds were super close. They could have gone either way—and apparently did.

     

    Analysis

    What next? St-Pierre may or may not have retired. Will that retirement hold? Will he return to give Hendricks a much deserved rematch? I have more questions than answers, just like most of you I expect.

    One thing we know for certain—Johny Hendricks lived up to the hype. When the UFC said he was GSP's greatest test, many scoffed at the notion. But he proved it true with every big left hand. Here's hoping they get a chance to run it back.

Real Winner: Size

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Rashad Evans def. Chael Sonnen, TKO (Round 1, 4:05) 

     

    Real Winner

    Size. It turns out that there's a reason that Chael Sonnen has been a life-long middleweight and Rashad Evans has spent the bulk of his UFC career as a light heavyweight. Evans was just too big and strong for Sonnen. Once he got him to the mat, it was all over for the loudest mouth in all of MMA.

    Sonnen's wrestling is an overwhelming force—at 185 pounds. At light heavyweight he's just too small to run through opponents the way he's used to. That may not make a huge difference against non-wrestlers. Against the top grapplers in the division, like Evans, it means everything.

     

    Analysis

    A decisive win puts Evans back on track to get another shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Evans still feels that he's the man to dethrone Jones. Once Jones clears Glover Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson from his dance card, he may get that chance.

    We know that Sonnen is scheduled for a bout next year with his chief nemesis Wanderlei Silva. It's a fight Chael has a good chance to win. It would be a great way to ride off into the sunset—and I hope Sonnen takes advantage of it.

Real Winner: Chad Dundas

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald, Split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

     

    Real Winner

    Chad Dundas. Give credit where is due. I don't like losing, but my new colleague sure called this one. Lawler was a huge underdog, but was able to use his veteran savvy and unbelievable power to carry the day. MacDonald was supposed to be the new breed of fighter, more sophisticated and skilled than the likes of Lawler.

    Now it's back to the drawing board. No amount of science can overcome heart and a will to win. For MacDonald to compete against the Lawlers of the world, he's going to have to think less and do more.

     

    Analysis

    Wow. I don't know how far Lawler can take this late-career resurgence, but it looks like it's going to be one heck of a journey. I don't believe Lawler can compete with the top guys in the division. Then again, I didn't expect Lawler to beat Koscheck or MacDonald either. 

Real Winner: Muscles

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Tyron Woodley def. Josh Koscheck, Knockout (Round 1, 4:38)

     

    Real Winner

    Muscles. Tyron Woodley looks like a comic book super hero. Most UFC fighters are in great shape, but their muscles are functional. Bulk is avoided, because any muscle mass without a purpose just makes it harder to find the weight class appropriate to your height and reach.

    Woodley is the exception. He's a guy who has muscles that Grey's Anatomy editors need to study and document for posterity. And, you know what? It seems to be working for him.

     

    Analysis

    I'm not sure what this means for Josh Koscheck. He's one of MMA's greatest heels, a character who pushes boundaries on camera and in real life as well. His time after two brutal knockouts, however, may be quickly coming to an end.

    In his last bout, Woodley came up just short against Jake Shields. After rebounding in spectacular fashion like this, hopefully that's a loss he can see about avenging in short order.

Real Loser: Honesty

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Ali Bagautinov def. Tim Elliott, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 

     

    Real Loser

    Honesty. You can forgive Tim Elliott his shock when the decision was announced, proclaiming his opponent the winner unanimously. After all, his cornerman James Krause was telling him, between both rounds, that he was doing well. There was no sense of urgency. It was almost a given that he was winning.

    He was not.

    A fighter counts on their corner to tell them the truth. Tim Elliott needed to know he was losing the fight. No one bothered to tell him. That made the result a foregone conclusion.

     

    Analysis

    Neither guy really looked good here. But, in the short-handed flyweight division, it really doesn't matter much. A win, no matter how lackluster, automatically puts Bagautinov on the path towards title contention.

Real Winner: Cowboys

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Result

    Donald Cerrone def. Evan Dunham, Tringle Choke (Round 2, 3:49)

     

    Real Winner

    Cowboys. I've always loved a good cowboy hat. There's something so cool about the commitment displayed by wearing a hat that extends several inches in every direction. There's an ego involved that says "Yes, I'm taking up more than my fair share of space—but I don't give a good gosh durn."

    It's not the hat alone that drives my love of Donald Cerrone. Mostly it's his reckless attitude and propensity for ludicrous violence. But the hat? That's definitely a bonus.

     

    Analysis

    You never know which Donald Cerrone is going to show up. I understand falling short against the greats, men like Anthony Pettis. But when you're falling way short against the Rafael dos Anjos's of the world, well, that's a real problem.

    Against Evan Dunham, we got the classic Cerrone. The guy who throws punches, kicks and knees with serious power. The guy who's super dangerous when he hits the mat. That's the guy I want to see. I'm glad he made it to the MGM Grand.

Real Loser: Everyone

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Thales Leites def. Ed Herman, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

     

    Real Loser

    Everyone. There is aesthetic joy to be found in MMA. The carefully timed punch, the perfectly performed sweep, the armbar cleverly conceived and executed—all are things of true beauty.

    None of that was present in this awful fight.

    Of course, it doesn't matter how terrible a fight is; there's always an MMA hipster around to explain just how ignorant you are, unable to enjoy the real artistry on display. I'm sure this fight had its supporters. There punishment should be watching this over and over again until they have to admit the brutal truth.

     

    Analysis

    Both men are veterans and each has significant wins on his resume. Neither, however, has much hope of advancing beyond their current predicament. These are the kind of guys the UFC should release into the wind. They aren't particularly entertaining and aren't going to make it—so it's only right they make way for someone who still has a chance to.

Real Winner: Word Play

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Result

    Rick Story def. Brian Ebersole, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

     

    Real Winner

    Word Play. Think of all the creative headlines Rick Story's last name lends itself to. That's the real story of this fight. 

    See what I did? See how easy it is?

    Never mind that Story is built like a tank and kicks like a horse. His name is a journalist's dream. 

     

    Analysis

    Brian Ebersole is a better story than Rick Story. He tries silly techniques and has a silly arrow carved into his chest hair. He' a character in a sport that trends towards the generic. 

    Too bad. This isn't pro wrestling. Story wrecked him with body punches and hard shots to the head, but his best work came by way of the leg kick. Who knows if they impressed Cecil Peoples cageside, but they sure impressed me.

Real Loser: Testicles

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Result

    Erik Perez def. Edwin Figueroa, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

     

    Real Loser

    Testicles. UFC announcer Joe Rogan takes a sick pleasure in watching other men get kicked in the nether regions. He appears to delight in watching "Foot to the Groin" over and over again. Rogan's vote in the Springfield Film Festival would not be in question.

    But a slow motion replay? A slow motion replay with the sound turned up to maximize impact? That's a new level of cringe inducement. That's cutting edge foot-into-nuts audio technology. Kudos to you Fox Sports 1! 

     

    Analysis

    "Control your weapons."

    That's what referee Kim Winslow told Perez after one slipped into Figueroa's crotch. Cool new phrase and an apt description of the 23-year-old Perez's game. He does have a lot of tools to work with, from a powerful overhand right to an unyielding double-leg takedown. I'm keen to see him take a step up the ladder.

Complete Results

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    Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

    Georges St-Pierre def. Johny Hendricks, Split-decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

    Rashad Evans def. Chael Sonnen, TKO (Round 1, 4:05) 

    Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald, Split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Tyron Woodley def. Josh Koscheck, Knockout (Round 1, 4:38)

    Ali Bagautinov def. Tim Elliott, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 

    Donald Cerrone def. Evan Dunham, Triangle Choke (Round 2, 3:49)

    Thales Leites def. Ed Herman, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Rick Story def. Brian Ebersole, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Erik Perez def. Edwin Figueroa, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Jason High def. Anthony Lapsley, Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

    Sergio Pettis def. Will Campuzano, Unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

    Gian Villante def. Cody Donovan, TKO (Round 2, 1:22)

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