Saturday, March 15, 2014

UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler preview

Well this fight is definitely not a GSP title fight, but it'll have to do.

It's really a shame that the judges went with St. Pierre over Johny Hendricks because it seriously has put a damper on the validity of this title fight. Sure, I thought Hendricks was the winner, but this doesn't feel like a title defense; it feels like a consolation prize.

And it seems like Hendricks might be treating it that way. He's already discussed the prospect of fighting in the middleweight division and needed two tries to make weight yesterday.

Normally, I'd write off a contender when they're doing stuff like this, but it's hard to do so with Hendricks. He's a national champion wrestler and has one-punch knockout ability.

What also keeps him a favorite in my view is the fact that I believe him to be quite a bit ahead of Robbie Lawler. Lawler is a great striker, but his ground game isn't as solid as it should be.

I like Lawler just fine and he could very well pick up a knockout, but I trust Hendricks' skill set by too much. I'm taking Hendricks by KO in Round 2.

Rest of the Main Card

The next contender for the welterweight title will probably be decided in the fight between Tyron Woodley and Carlos Condit. Both men have admirable striking and wrestling, so I'm really not sure where the fight is going to predominately be set.

That said, I think Condit's on a slightly higher level, so I'll take Condit by decision.

There is a legitimately fun lightweight fight between Diego Sanchez and Myles Jury. The striking in this fight should be unreal, and I'll lean Jury by decision.

Also on the card is Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard in a battle of Guys Who Should Have Been Bigger Deals Than They Are. I'm going to trust in Shields' experience over Lombard's talent in this fight, and pick Shields to lay-and-pray to a decision win.

Lastly, Ovince St. Preux faces Nikita Krylov in a light heavyweight fight. This should be a great opener, and I'm taking OSP to get a 1st-round KO win.

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