georges-st-pierre-40.jpgUFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) opened as a -225 favorite over his next challenger, Johny Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC), who is a +175 underdog.

Veteran oddsmaker Joey Oddessa on Wednesday confirmed the opening line with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

Although a precise meeting date is yet to be set, Hendricks’ win over Carlos Condit this past Saturday at UFC 158 in Montreal set him up to face St-Pierre, who swept Nick Diaz with a unanimous decision in the main event. UFC President Dana White confirmed the two will meet for the 170-pound title.

The line represents the most competitive opening number for a St-Pierre title defense since he opened as a -270 favorite against Thiago Alves at UFC 100. Prior to that, he opened as a -180 favorite against B.J. Penn at UFC 94 and a -220 favorite against Jon Fitch at UFC 87. But since that trio of fights, he has started as a prohibitive favorite and maintained that through the close of betting against the likes of Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Condit and Diaz.

Oddessa believes Hendricks’ strong wrestling background could pose a challenge to the champion.

“I’ve always admired the MMA wrestlers and been critiqued for it because of my love of the sport of wrestling, but there’s no bias in my price,” said Oddessa, who can be found at @mmaodds on Twitter. “It’s a more than a winnable bout for Hendricks.”

But apart from Hendricks’ wrestling prowess, it’s the Oklahoma native’s power in his hands that helps make a fight with St-Pierre potentially closer than many of his other title defenses.

“There’s not much to say about Georges that we don’t already know throughout his outstanding Hall of Fame career,” Oddessa said. “Hendricks is the best college wrestler St-Pierre has faced to date. Add to it, Johny has shown in his 15 wins that he poses as big a threat with his hands as his wrestling skills, both of which Georges has shown to be able to neutralize and overcome in the past.”

Hendricks has won six straight since the lone loss of his MMA career, which came at the hands of Rick Story at the TUF 12 Finale. In those six wins, he has three “Knockout of the Night” bonuses and a “Fight of the Night” for the unanimous nod over Condit on Saturday.

St-Pierre defended his welterweight title fight the eighth straight time and picked up his 11th win in UFC title fights, as well as his 11th straight overall. In his eight title defenses, all but one – a corner stoppage TKO of Penn – have been unanimous decisions. But all of those unanimous decisions have featured at least one 50-45 score from the judges, making him one of the most dominant champions in history.

And although the fans have been clamoring for a St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva superfight, which might be put on hold for St-Pierre vs. Hendricks, Oddessa believes Hendricks’ recent dominance and his legitimate threat to the champion could make people forget about the superfight for a bit.

“Coming off their last performances, both left little doubt to what the fans want to see before a catchweight superbout: a guy that poses a most dangerous threat to St-Pierre’s title,” Oddessa said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Georges St-Pierre)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC 203 Betting: Miocic Defends Heavyweight Title as Odds Favorite vs. Overeem

  • 16 days ago
  • 10 views

After Stipe Miocic (15-2) went to Brazil and took the heavyweight title belt away from Fabricio Werdum on his home turf, the Cleveland native and new champion will try to avoid the same fate when he read news >>

Dustin Poirier: 'I Could Beat Every Lightweight on UFC Roster' (Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 10 days ago
  • 12 views

Lightweight contender Dustin Poirier opens up about the fight game. "The Diamond" faces Michael Johnson in the main event at Fight Night Hidalgo on Saturday. read news >>

Return of the American Gangster: Chael Sonnen Opens Up About Move to Bellator

  • 9 days ago
  • 29 views

Chael Sonnen had every intention of returning to the UFC. Until he didn’t. Whatever the reason, one of the UFC’s most controversial, entertaining and bankable figures over the past seven years found read news >>

The Downes Side - Fight Night Brasilia Predictions

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 views

This week, everyone’s favorite self-proclaimed cybernetic organism returns to the Octagon, live from Brasilia, Brazil, as Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino places her 11-year win streak on the line against read news >>

Video: Watch Vicente Luque score brutal knockout of Hector Urbina at UFC Fight Night 95

  • a day ago
  • 18 views

Vicente Luque was a heavy favorite heading into his bout with Hector Urbina at UFC Fight Night 95. When fans expect you to leave the cage after having your hand raised, the best way to stand out is s read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 results: Eric Spicely stuns Brasilia, submits 8-1 favorite Thiago 'Marreta' Santos

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – “The Ultimate Fighter 23” veteran Eric Spicely pulled off the first upset – and a major one – on a night of Brazil vs. America fights.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 results: Eric Spicely stuns Brasilia, submits 8-1 favorite Thiago 'Marreta' Santos

  • a day ago
  • 7 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – “The Ultimate Fighter 23” veteran Eric Spicely pulled off the first upset – and a major one – on a night of Brazil vs. America fights.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 bonuses: Eric Spicely's huge upset of 8-1 favorite Thiago 'Marreta' Santos worth $50,000

  • a day ago
  • 8 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Eric Spicely, Vicente Luque, Erick Silva and Luan Chagas each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 95 event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95: Eric Spicely vs. Thiago 'Marreta' Santos video highlights

  • a day ago
  • 15 views

Thiago “Marreta” Santos was a heavy favorite coming into his bout with Eric Spicely. However, Spicely showcased slick ground skills to score the shocking upset.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>