Recent UFC welterweight title challenger Johny Hendricks, whom many are praising as the uncrowned champion at 170 pounds, believes there is a simple reason why Georges St-Pierre lasted 25 minutes with him: thin hand wraps.
"Bigg Rigg" explained to the Dallas Morning-News that thinner hand wraps than he is normally accustomed to had him punching at just 70 percent total power at UFC 167 last weekend.
"I usually get a thick wrap and this time I didn't do that. Instead of me asking for a thicker wrap, I kept my mouth shut. It's my fault. That's on me. It means I hit hard enough that I can punch through the 4 oz gloves. So that's what made my hands get bruised. I couldn't punch as hard as I could (have). The more injured I get, the less I get to use it, the more he gets comfortable, so I had to tone down my power. I was still hurting at 70 percent. Wait till I get a full hand wrap. That only builds confidence, because I beat the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I will be back, and I will be stronger than before."
While most fans, fighters and analysts alike, as well as UFC President Dana White, all believed the challenger did enough to dethrone St-Pierre on Saturday, two of the three judges in Las Vegas disagreed and awarded the champion the fight via split decision.
As St-Pierre appears to be mulling over retirement in the midst of dealing with some undisclosed personal issues, White insists that GSP vs. Hendricks II will be booked "within a couple weeks," per MMA Mania.
Controversial or not, "Rush" has now won 12 fights in a row, including nine successful title defenses.
On the other hand, Hendricks saw a six-fight win streak snapped, which included quick knockouts over then-perennial contenders Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann.
The UFC welterweight title picture remains a bit cloudy at the moment, as it seems pretty obvious that Hendricks will be the next man fighting for the welterweight strap, but will it be a rematch against GSP or not?