The lights will go dim in the MGM Grand Garden Arena as Georges St-Pierre walks to the Octagon for his bout with Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167 tonight (Nov. 16, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada. St-Pierre hopes to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight belt a record ninth consecutive time.
It's by far the biggest fight of his career that's been made exponentially more important be because tonight's event is also the 20th anniversary of the first card that the UFC promoted. The eyes of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world will literally be glued to the action as it unfolds.
With such a monumental event, the UFC PR spoke with some of the best fighters on the roster to get their take on tonight's main event. And surprisingly, most of the pros are picking Hendricks for the upset. Below are some of the best responses.
Carlos Condit: "If I were a betting man, I'd take Johny Hendricks for the upset. You have to give Johny a huge chance in this fight. I'm most excited to see how their wrestling matches up. If Johny can stop the takedown, like a lot of people think he will, it is going to be very interesting."
Chael Sonnen: "Johny is by far the biggest threat to GSP's title, that's obvious. Hendricks could be the guy to end GSP's reign, we all get that. What's getting missed here is the bigger story: If GSP wins this fight, he is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC, the number one guy of the UFC's first two decades. Hendricks will be the UFC champion in the future - I think we can all agree on that - so if GSP can beat him now he will not only be the greatest fighter of his era, but also of the Hendricks era. Every win Hendricks gets after losing to GSP would be a win for GSP, too. So this is an even bigger stakes match than people realize. I think GSP will show up in the form of his life - but I also think Hendricks wins this."
Matt Serra: "Johny has been taking out a lot of tough guys, knocking guys out, so he has a huge puncher's chance. Koscheck had a great right hand and a puncher's chance against GSP, but nothing like this guy. GSP does fight safe, so the opportunities for Hendricks to land the shot are going to be few and far between, but he will get the chance and he has to be ready to take it. That's what I did."
Matt Hughes: "I really think Hendricks has the tools to get his hand raised. He's obviously got the wrestling, and along with the wrestling he's got that big left hand. I don't think Georges' jab is going to be as effective against a southpaw, and he's always going to know that when he's close enough to throw that jab, Johny's gonna be close enough to land that left. So I think that may play into Georges' mind just a little bit and I think mentally Georges has some obstacles because he doesn't like to get hit."
Daniel Cormier: "I was able to work with Johny in the past and no one performs better when the lights are brightest. I pick Hendricks."
Forrest Griffin: "Johny Hendricks is a way better wrestler than GSP, Johny Hendricks has way, way more power than GSP, and Johny Hendricks has a far, far, far better chin than GSP. Clearly, Johny Hendricks doesn't stand a chance of pulling off the upset against GSP..."
Chuck Liddell: "I think Hendricks is really going to make GSP fight. GSP is a great, great fighter. And he really can fight, but he prefers not to and to think his way to victory. Johny won't allow that to happen. I will say I thought all this before the last fight GSP fought Josh Koscheck, but I think the pace Johny fights at, how hard he hits with each shot, and how much he seems to want this makes this the most interesting GSP fight in years."
Remember, too, that our round-by-round UFC 167 results of the under card fights on Facebook/FOX Sports 1 will begin to flow around 6:30 p.m. ET later this evening and run right on through to our main card PPV coverage, which is set to start at 10 p.m. ET.
To get up to speed on all the news and notes for UFC 167: "St. Pierre vs. Hendricks" be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.