Seeing Johny Hendricks keeled over in the center of the Octagon Saturday night felt downright egregious.
His five-round dethroning of long-time welterweight king Georges St-Pierre didn't end the way it was supposed to. Hendricks' efforts and tactically initiated game plan were not rewarded properly.
Instead, two lame ducks who call themselves judges decided to tally three rounds for GSP, leaving the challenger ill-willed and understandably salty after the fight.
As it stands right now, when you take into account how well Hendricks' hands were moving and how inefficient St-Pierre's wrestling was, this atrocious decision may be the most unforeseen call by a bunch of pencil pushers ever.
It's truly unfortunate that not only Hendricks had to leave Las Vegas without a golden trophy around his waist but more so the fact that there's no immediate and clear-cut way to fix these type of outcomes.
Hendricks has joined a long line of wrongfully defeated fighters from times past and literally has nothing at his disposal to change his misfortune bleeding over from UFC 167. For "Bigg Rigg," perfecting his game and praying GSP finds his fire to compete again is the only thing he can do.
As far as the judges are concerned, there's no quick fix for long-lasting mistakes like this. It's a virus that will continue to eat the sport alive for as long as fights are scored simply on points, not by damage and overall Octagon dominance.
Fighters train so hard for so long that to have an outcome like that spill over into the cage on a night that the UFC was celebrating its 20th anniversary seems eerily sickening. Even Dana White displayed his frustration post-fight for a Nevada State Athletic Commission that blew yet another call and added to an already incompetent track record.
Also, the fact that White openly stated that he thought St-Pierre handily lost the fight speaks for itself.
Hendricks did what he needed to do to win and become champion, but some things don't come to those who outright deserve it. For all intents and purposes, the heavy-handed Texan is a champion with no belt.
For 25 minutes, he beat the best fighter of all time. For five-straight rounds, he battered a mythical legend of the sport and made him pay at every turn.
It was something that resembled a Hollywood movie. The humble guy that works his whole life for the big shot finally gets it, delivers on all levels, but somehow he gets stripped of what's rightfully his.
That's exactly what played out last night in front of a sold out Las Vegas crowd and millions of pay-per-view onlookers. It was a plane crash of sorts. Something you needed to look at but were horrified to witness.
There's no real way to repay Hendricks for the misery that has and will ensue following this disappointing climax until he ultimately gets a rematch. But for a guy that exceeded every single expectation that was thrown on his shoulders leading into this fight, he deserves to be called champ.
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