The UFC’s Welterweight Division Just Got Weird
By Christopher Jester
Georges St-Pierre squeaked out his title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, albeit controversially and by most people’s opinions unfairly. In fact, one of PunchDrunkGamer’s staff members scored the bout for Johny Hendricks 49-46, giving all of the rounds to Hendricks except the last. While there is no doubt has been an over saturation of articles and pieces out there that will center on how the judges dropped the ball on the scorecards for the UFC 167 main event, PunchDrunkGamer will attempt to illustrate a brighter picture of the UFC’s welterweight division.
Hendricks took the battle to St-Pierre, dropping him and nearly finishing the fight in the second round. Even after slowing down in the latter rounds, it was almost apparent that Hendricks controlled majority of the fight. After hearing the scorecards, social media erupted in tweets that either said “robbery” or some other expletive. In the end, it left who appeared to be the clear winner in Johny Hendricks without a title and a loss on his record undeservedly so.
If you hear it from UFC President Dana White, he claims that Hendricks deserves the rematch because there are no clear contenders in the UFC’s 170lb division. First, that is simply not true. Second, the true merit to why Hendricks deserves the rematch is because it the only right thing to do. Hendricks won the fight, barring giving away the fifth round by cruising. It simply was not as close as the judges’ would have you believe.
Many people may then ask why not give Alexander Gustafsson an immediate rematch against UFC Light-Heavyweight Jon Jones when their bout was hotly contested. The answer is while that fight was close and could have gone either way; there are many opinions out there that Jones won that fight. The same cannot be said about the GSP-Hendricks fight. Split decision? Not even close. In fact, the judges’ scorecard was as close to judging blasphemy as it can get.
So to be honest the true contender and only fight that makes the most obvious sense is Georges St-Pierre versus Johnny Hendricks Part Deux. But let’s play devil’s advocate here. Dana White said there are no other contenders. Robbie Lawler would beg to differ. He defeated the #3 ranked welterweight in the UFC. Rory MacDonald played it safe and it hurt him in the end, as Lawler battered him for the three rounds of the bout. Even if the UFC obliges to give Georges St-Pierre time to settle whatever personal issues he is contending with, there are still great matches that can be made.
One such fight is UFC on Fox 9’s Carlos Condit versus Matt Brown. Condit who has already fought for the title is a perennial contender at the top of the welterweight division. If Brown who is riding a six-fight win streak could win, he would be a hot commodity to pass on as a clear contender in the division. Pitting either fighter against Hendricks or Lawler could establish a contender in waiting if GSP elects to take some time off.
Regardless of it all, it is a mess. But what made it more of a mess – the judges or GSP? Likely most would say the judges and that is probably more so true than the scapegoat Georges St-Pierre. While, there is obvious changes that need to be made in the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a whole, the truth is the UFC has to continue putting on fights. The UFC’s welterweight division may be muddled at the moment, but there are options available. It will just come down to if the UFC will give GSP the time he wants to take time away from the sport or will they continue without him.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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