LAS VEGAS – Dana White thinks Johny Hendricks beat Georges St-Pierre. He thinks GSP’s team, immediately after the fight, thought Hendricks beat the champ.
So you know Hendricks believes he won the fight.
St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) won an instantly controversial split decision against Hendricks (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in the main event of UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
After the fight, despite White, the UFC’s president, saying St-Pierre was headed to the hospital, the champ showed up to the post-event news conference in the middle of the event with his face showing perhaps more wear from the 25-minute war with Hendricks than it ever had before.
“My hands are busted up from hitting him in the face,” Hendricks said at the post-event news conference. “Look at his face and look at mine.”
Perhaps more revealing, though, was Hendricks’ big reveal that in the fight, he was only hitting the champ with 70 percent power.
“I really didn’t hit him that hard,” Hendricks said. “I wasn’t really trying to knock him out. I was putting about 70 percent on him, and it was enough.”
White, though, was quick to dispute that, for obvious reasons.
“It wasn’t enough,” White told him. “You left it in the hands of the judges. You better give 100 percent next time.”
And Hendricks couldn’t dispute that, with his boss leaving him stammering for a moment.
White wants to order up a rematch between the two, reiterating to MMAjunkie his belief that Hendricks won the fight. Just when that might be remains to be seen, especially in the fight’s aftermath, when St-Pierre said he is planning to take a leave of absence of sorts to work on some personal issues and “prove a point.”
But Hendricks insisted his goal of winning a title merely hit a bump in the road.
“Dude, I don’t care about Georges,” he said. “I beat him anyway. I just want the belt. That’s the only thing that’s motivating me. I need to get it. That’s my drive. I thought I got it tonight, but I guess I didn’t. There’s a lot of things I can pull from this fight, and I’m only going to get better. It was my first five-round fight, and I took it to the champ.”
If a potential rematch does happen, “Bigg Rigg” may take White’s advice of not going anything but high gear against St-Pierre, who set a UFC record with his 19th win.
“If I get to see him in the ring again, it won’t go the distance,” Hendricks said. “I will finish him. I know I can go five rounds now.”