The UFC celebrated its 20th anniversary last night and it climaxed with Georges St. Pierre fighting Johnny Hendricks for the welterweight title. I don’t feel like typing much of an introduction so let’s get into this.
The first fight was Tim Elliot against the Russian, Ali Bagautinov. This fight saw Elliot go with the hands down, block with face strategy that usually doesn’t end well. Fortunately for Elliot’s brain though he didn’t get knocked out, he lost a decision. It was an exciting fight that saw Elliot push the pace, but his undoing was simply not throwing punches while Bagautinov was hitting him with power shots and it cost him. For Bagautinov a fight with Dustin Ortiz seems to make sense right now. As for Elliot he should look to fight Louis Gaudinot or Phil Harris.
Up next on the card was Tyrone "The Chosen One" Woodley against Josh Koscheck. Woodley made quick work of Kos, knocking him out round 1. Kos seemed to be invigorated until the fight started. Woodley’s power was just too much to handle. If he doesn’t get cut Josh Koscheck has a few choices, he should look to fight Sexyama (if he ever comes back), Brian Ebersole, Erick Silva, or retire. Woodley looked good; he should change his horrible nickname and fight Dong Hyung Kim or the winner of Jake Ellenburger /Tarec Saffadine.
The battle between the future and past of the welterweight division was fought between Rory "The Waterboy" Macdonald and "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler. I say "Waterboy" because that is the nickname he was given not the nickname he gave himself. This was another extremely close fight that saw Rory try to implement the same strategy he did in the Ellenburger fight, but Robbie was able to catch Rory and rock him in multiple occasions. Robbie’s power combined with his excellent takedown defense gave him the win. Lawler will either fight the winner of the Condit/Brown fight or a title fight. Rory has a lot of potential, but it seems like he as a problem dealing with adverse positions in a fight. Fights with the loser of Condit/Brown or Martin Kampmann make sense.
The co-main was a lightheavy weight fight between Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans. The fight was a mugging. Sonnen had nothing for Evans. Evans took him down and pounded Chael out. This was a nightmare match up for Chael, the way Rashad won just proved that there was no logical reason for picking Chael to win. We all know what’s next for Chael, the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and then a fight with Wanderlei Silva. It took some time, but it seems like Rashad has got his head straight, that’s a bad thing for everyone else in the division. I can see Rashad welcoming Daniel Cormier to the division or fighting the winner of Shogun/Te Huna.
The highly anticipated fight between GSP and Johnny Hendricks took place. It was a back and forth fight that saw Hendricks batter and bloody GSP. In the end though, the judges controversially gave the decision to GSP. I personally thought it should have gone to Hendricks, but I can see how the judges gave it to GSP. This is how I saw it, round 1: toss up, round 2: all Hendricks, round 3: GSP, round 4: Hendricks, round 5: GSP. There is a difference between a robbery and a close fight that goes a different way than most people think, and this was a close fight. After the fight GSP said he wanted some time away from the cage, and has not made it clear about his return. Normally a rematch would be the obvious choice but due to the GSP wanting to go on hiatus, maybe an interim title fight between Hendricks and Robbie Lawler; this all depends on what they decide to do with the title in GSP’s absence.
Now concerning GSP…I hope he comes back. He said he needed time away, and he deserves it. If this fight was the last time we see him fight, he deserved a better send off. GSP has always been the best ambassador for the sport, He deserved more than the sneers and just flat out disrespect from fans, and the owner of the company; the same company and man that GSP has made millions of dollars for I hope GSP comes back and gets the send off he deserves. If he doesn’t, Georges I thank you for all time you’ve spent in this sport, thank you for putting your body on the line for our entertainment, thank you for being a great ambassador. Simply put, thank you.