Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks' face looked clean and pretty immediately after his welterweight title fight against Georges St. Pierre. He sounded good. The defending champion's face looked like trash; it was swollen, and bloody. He sounded wiped out, and almost to the point of retirement.
Despite Hendricks appearing to have won three of the five rounds, GSP defended his title in a controversial (awful?) split decision that set off Twitter in a furry that this was a garbage ruling from the three judges. Hendricks was the better, stronger fighter over the course of five rounds but his decision to sit on his lead in the fifth round likely cost him the overall decision.
The champion seldom - like never - loses a decision. Although GSP said this was the toughest fight of his career - his face backed that up - it was too close for two judges to give Johny a win he should have been awarded.
"It sucks. I'm coming back," Hendricks said in the ring after the fight. "It's fine. That's my belt."
Hendricks, who lives in Mansfield and trains in Pantego, appeared to win the first and second rounds as well as round four. He was not the aggressor, at all, in Round 5 and that final impression was not in his favor.
It was the first time in Hendricks' career he went five rounds; for a while it appeared as if conditioning would be an issue, but he held up against a fighter who is accustomed to fighting 25 minutes.
In an odd twist, GSP said after the fight he will be taking some time away from UFC to address personal issues.
Hendricks should have won, but this is the risk you take when it goes to a judge.
With GSP walking away, it robs Hendricks and UFC fans the chance of a rematch that needs to happen.
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