Johny Hendricks was dubbed as having the power to shock the world, but the only thing shocking about UFC 167 Saturday night was the decision.
Georges St-Pierre retained the welterweight title for his ninth consecutive title defense after earning a split-decision nod over Hendricks.
In a post on Twitter, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes called it the “worst decision in UFC history.”
That is definitely an overstatement considering the lone judge that scored the fight for Hendricks also gave St-Pierre two rounds. It was an incredibly close fight between the best welterweights in the world.
Unfortunately, the most competitive welterweight title bout in years has been marred by the dark cloud of a “bad decision.” As expressed venomously at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White wants to do an immediate rematch, but St-Pierre’s retirement/extended leave has really thrown a monkey wrench in the UFC’s plans.
During the post-fight media scrum, which was attended by MMA H.E.A.T.’s Karyn Bryant, White appeared confident St-Pierre would stick around and that the rematch would happen sooner than later:
I’m in a better mood now. (We talked) about his problems, and his problems aren’t as bad as he thinks they are. I’m not Doctor Oz or anything, or whatever that guy’s name is, but Lorenzo (Fertitta) is still in there talking to him. Yeah, we’ll get through this. I’m confident that he will (come back).
If St-Pierre returns to MMA, it’ll make UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby’s jobs that much easier. There would likely be an immediate rematch, and Hendricks would get another crack at the UFC title.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a good chance St-Pierre actually sticks to his post-fight comments and takes an extended leave away from fighting. In that case, an interim title would likely come into play.
Hendricks would still be the top contender, with welterweights Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler at the forefront of the division as possible opponents.
In any case, the future of the welterweight division hangs on the heavy shoulders of the current UFC champ.