Photo by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
After a huge first round KO over Martin Kampmann, will Johny Hendricks finally get his title shot, or will he be placed on the back burner so "GSP" can take on "The Spider" in a UFC super fight?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre accomplished one of the greatest feats of his career when he fought his way back from a serious knee injury, got himself back into fighting shape, climbed back inside the cage after a long layoff and defeated Interim Champion Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Nov. 17, 2012.
It was a massive obstacle, and "GSP" proved that he is able to overcome obstacles and still wind up on top. Condit was a worthy opponent, and he even looked to have St. Pierre in trouble in the third round, after an out-of-nowhere high kick landed squarely on the side of "Rush's" head, sending him spiraling to the canvas and forcing him to regain his composure, quickly.
Afterwards, all anyone could talk about was a "super fight" with UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. It shouldn't be a surprise, as it's all anyone could talk about leading up the fight.
Our own Jesse Holland shared his feelings on the matter, where he strongly came out against the idea of St. Pierre and Silva going toe-to-toe.
And he's absolutely right.
Johny Hendricks earned the right to be called the number one contender. He deserves to take on St. Pierre, after his brutal knockout win over Martin Kampmann. What's the use of having a number one contender if he's not going to fight the champion?
You could pit Hendricks up against Condit, but does it make any sense to have someone coming off such a big win fighting a guy coming off a loss? Even if that loss is to one of the greatest fighters of all time, I'm not buying it.
You could have Hendricks take on Nick Diaz, as soon as he gets back from his suspension. However, the word on the street is that Diaz is fighting Josh Koscheck in his return to the Octagon. Even if you could undo that match up, Hendricks would still be fighting a fighter who is coming off a loss.
The winner of the UFC on Fox 5 showdown between Rory MacDonald and B.J. Penn makes for an interesting opponent, and if the answer isn't "GSP," I think it's what makes the most sense.
But, the thing is, the answer should be "GSP."
Give St. Pierre his vacation. Let Hendricks have some well deserved time off, too. And when they come back, their title fight will be a celebration of something that isn't being talked about a lot these days:
The re-emergence of the welterweight division.
It's not the UFC's deepest weight class, but it's come a long way within the last year. There are actually several fighters who fans think are capable of giving St. Pierre a legitimate run for his money. There are a lot of exciting match ups to make at 170 pounds, right now.
If you take St. Pierre out of that mix, I think it sends the wrong signal about the state of the division, as well as how title shots are earned.