New UFC middleweight Johny Hendricks has called on the organisation to pit him against the returning Georges St. Pierre in a rematch, and he believes he would easily beat the MMA legend at 185 pounds.
Speaking to reporters after his win over Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105, the 33-year-old said a fight between him and his old rival would make more sense than a bout between St. Pierre and current champion Michael Bisping.
Per Steven Marrocco of USA Today Sports, he said: ''Who would want to see him and Bisping, or me and Bisping? I’m pretty sure the whole world would much rather see that. I would just say sorry for the Canadians. I’m going to have to beat his face in, definitely if he comes to 185. Because that’s a fight that I’ve been really looking for. And now that I’ve got a win under my belt at 185, he’s a newcomer at 185.''
Hendricks and St. Pierre fought at UFC 167 for the welterweight belt, and the latter retained his title in a controversial decision. The Canadian hasn't fought since, while Hendricks went on to win the title.
He's struggled with making weight since then, however, leading to the move to middleweight. His win over Lombard was his first in his last four fights, and the veteran clearly felt great afterwards:
Johny Hendricks @JohnyHendricks
The training camp was fun. Fight week was fun. The win was fun 👍! I'm baaaaaack. #ufcHalifax https://t.co/p4Vt88HUIB2017-2-20 05:55:21
Hendricks moved a lot better on Sunday than he has in the past year, and the move to middleweight seems to have been the right one. The three losses prior to the win over Lombard will hurt him in fight negotiations, but to the UFC he would make an interesting first opponent for St. Pierre.
The MMA legend might not be anxious to see his old nemesis in his return to the octagon, as Hendricks gave him one of the toughest challenges of his career when they last met. Bisping is a possibility for the 35-year-old and, via Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, the current champion appears up for the challenge:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Reached out to @bisping about GSP news: "I'm happy Georges is back part of the UFC roster, and hopefully we'll meet in the octagon soon."2017-2-17 21:13:48
A bout with Anderson Silva would be another option. Fans have been waiting for the two to meet for years, and while the Spider is clearly on the decline, a fight between two of the biggest stars the UFC had on the books in the last decade should do very well at the box office.