johny-hendricks-22.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

MONTREAL – What do you get the UFC titleholder who has everything? In the case of welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who already has fame, riches and a place in the MMA record books, the answer might be a fresh challenger.

In UFC 158, St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) steamrolled Nick Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) for another unanimous decision victory, his sixth in as many fights. He did it with the same mix of brilliant strategy and flawless execution MMA fans have come to expect from the Quebecois.

If anything, he took care of business a little too much like usual. After five years as the undisputed champion, St-Pierre really needs an opponent who will force him to do something new.

Former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion Johny Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) might be that opponent. Not only does he have the grappling chops to rival St-Pierre, he also has knockout power in his left hand. After a unanimous-decision win and the fight of the night award against Carlos Condit (28-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in Montreal, Hendricks has UFC President Dana White’s blessing.

“He’s the No. 1 contender,” White said in the post-fight news conference. “Done.”

In the UFC, it’s not always so simple. With six consecutive wins, Hendricks has earned the shot, though he wouldn’t be the first to be passed over or shuffled to the middle of the pack after being crowned the top contender. This is one situation, however, in which it might be the champion who needs the challenger, rather than the other way around.

In UFC 158, fans were promised a grudge match in which the champion would be motivated to put a memorable beating on longtime tormentor Diaz. What they got instead was standard St-Pierre fare. As dominant as the champion looked, you wonder if fans won’t soon tire of seeing him do the same thing over and over again. After so many successful title defenses, it’s getting harder to find a fighter or a style over which St-Pierre hasn’t already proved his mastery. Wrestlers can’t strike with him, and strikers can’t out-wrestle him. That’s where Hendricks comes in.

“I believe I’ve got better wrestling than him,” Hendricks said. “I did it since I was 5. I go back to Oklahoma State and train all the time.

“Also, I hit harder than him.”

White says the match is all but made. St-Pierre says Hendricks deserves the fight.

A champion as dominant as St-Pierre deserves an opponent who can push him to new heights. Maybe more than he realizes.

For complete coverage of UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Johny Hendricks)

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

Related News

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson Results and Reaction from UFC Fight Night 96

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

The biggest prize in MMA today is a fight with Conor McGregor. Fans and fighters may not like it, but it's an indisputable fact at this point. Whether it's Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo or Nate Diaz, facing read news >>

UFC Mexico City: Quick Results | FIGHTLAND

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Photos by Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports? Ferguson Sees Off Dos Anjos Tony Ferguson extended his unbeaten run to nine with a victory over his toughest opponent to date, Rafael Dos Anjos. The contest read news >>

Jon Jones gets 1-year suspension from USADA for doping violation stemming from UFC 200

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

A three-member arbitration panel today upheld a standard one-year suspension for Jon Jones’ UFC 200 drug test failure, rendering the UFC interim light heavyweight champ unable to fight until July 7, read news >>

The Tactical Guide to Conor McGregor versus Eddie Alvarez | FIGHTLAND

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Photo by Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports When he found out that Jose Aldo had pulled out of their UFC 189 title fight, and that Chad Mendes would be taking the Brazilian's place, Conor McGregor is credi read news >>

UFC Announces Highly Anticipated Return to London

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

After months of speculation, UFC® today announced its much anticipated return to London, England. The event will take place at The O2 in London on Saturday, March 18, 2017. read news >>

Video: Watch today's UFC 205 press conference live on MMAjunkie at 3 p.m. ET

  • 25 days ago
  • 62 views

Two days before the big event, you can watch a live video stream of today’s official UFC 205 pre-event press conference here on MMAjunkie beginning at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT).Filed under: News, UFC, Vide read news >>

Video: Watch today's UFC 205 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 6 p.m. ET

  • 24 days ago
  • 23 views

NEW YORK – UFC 205 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

ONE Championship 49 live and official results

  • 24 days ago
  • 44 views

“ONE Championship 49: Defending Honor” takes place today, and you can join us for live and official results beginning at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. PT).Filed under: News read news >>

The Messy Rise of Sergey Kovalev | FIGHTLAND

  • 23 days ago
  • 5 views

Photo by Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports I am discussing four drunk men in a bathhouse with Sergey "The Krusher" Kovalev, the undefeated light-heavyweight champ known most for his overwhelming power. We' read news >>

Donald Trump May Attend UFC 205 | FIGHTLAND

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports After an endless, bruising, down-to-the-wire gut-punch of a presidential election we as Americans, who have spent so much of the last 18 months at each other read news >>