UFC 167 Preview

ufc_167The UFC Will celebrate their 20th anniversary in the city that has given them the most in their 20 years as they travel back to Las Vegas. For the 20th anniversary they will hold one of the biggest fights of the year when Georges St. Pierre defends his belt against his toughest test yet. The fight will have plenty behind it but more than anything the fight is an attempt to prove that the era of the dominant champion is still alive. For years the two best fighters n the world were Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre as they continued a debate over who was better in the pound for pound rankings. Anderson Silva would lose his latest attempt to continue his reign making St. Pierre the longest reigning champion in the UFC. Now he will look to show that the old era of champions is still relevant as he hopes to stave off the era of Jon Jones as the only true dominant champion in the UFC. There has rarely been a fighter as dominant as St. Pierre and Silva and that trend is being continued in the Light Heavyweight Division. As Jones cements his own reputation the story of Georges St. Pierre has yet to write its final chapter and he looks to begin that final chapter as the defending Welterweight champion. St. Pierre is approaching the end of his career with only a few fights left as he is already looking beyond his time as a fighter and to the future. With a workout program and a book already complete St. Pierre is preparing for his life outside of the octagon and the writing is on the wall that his career will not go much further. That won’t mean that he has lost focus on the task at hand though as he takes on Johny Hendricks who looks to be his toughest test yet. Then again the story has come up before as it seems every time St. Pierre signs a fight contract it will be his toughest test yet. In the case of Johny Hendricks it may just be true though as St. Pierre has never faced as well-rounded an opponent as Hendricks. St. Pierre has made his living off of finding the weak spots of his opponents and exposing them to win fights. St. Pierre is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC as he has a great striking game with one of the best jabs in the UFC that keeps opponents at a distance and scores points. It may not produce the fireworks that people love but it is effective and it has won fights and sidelined fighters for long periods. St. Pierre is also a great wrestler who has a 75% takedown efficiency and an 86% takedown defence. While on the ground St. Pierre does enough to keep the fight on the ground and score points. Again it is not the most exciting way to win a fight but it does win fights and keeps St. Pierre with the belt. Now St. Pierre will face a man who is skilled in both areas of the fight game more than most others in the division. Hendricks was a Division-I All-American wrestler and has 63% takedown defence and a 50% takedown efficiency. Although he has the ability to wrestle with almost anyone in the division he prefers to stand up and use his powerful hands to finish fights. Hendricks has one-punch knockout power and is one of the best knockout artists in the UFC. With his elite wrestling background and his power Hendricks is comfortable in every aspect of MMA and will be a fighter that is tough to expose. St. Pierre has faced powerful punchers before and he has faced elite wrestlers before but he has never faced both in the same fighter. It is clear though that Hendricks may have elite training in wrestling but he prefers to stand up and try to knock people out. He has not had a lot of success on the ground with only one submission to his name but has 8 KOs. If there is a weakness in Hendricks’ game it is that he will not like to be on the ground and instead will prefer his standup game. So for St. Pierre the strategy is once again to take the fight to the ground and grind out a win as staying standing will not be smart with the power in Hendricks’ hands. The fight will be a close one as both fighters will likely come close to finishing but in true St. Pierre fashion he will find the weakness in his opponent and expose it for a Unanimous Decision win and will remain the welterweight champion.

The rest of the 20th anniversary will be a list of all-stars as major fights will line the main card and the undercard. With fighters like Rory MacDonald and Josh Koshcheck taking on Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley there will be plenty to watch at UFC 167. Then there is the co-main event that will feature two fighters on their way back to the title conversation and two fighters with no shortage of words. Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen love to talk but more importantly they are two of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division. Both have fought and lost to Jon Jones recently and both are looking to get back to that spot once again. For Chael Sonnen this fight represents what could be his last run at another title fight. After signing a five-fight contract Sonnen is spending most of his fights trying to put out old rivalries but now he is beginning a last run at the Light Heavyweight Title. Ranked as #6 light heavyweight in the division and is looking to get another title shot before what seems to be his last contract is up. A win against the #4 light heavyweight in the UFC will go a long way to doing just that. Rashad Evans is only a few wins away from getting another shot at friend turned rival Jon Jones. Evans would lose his first chance at Jones in 2012 and would follow-up with a loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira but a win against Dan Henderson has put him back in the conversation. Now he looks to take out Chael Sonnen to show that he is ready for another shot at the title and with his Blackzillian gym on a great winning streak as of late he is hoping to show that their leader is ready to take another step. Both fighters are coming in to the fight with a win under their belt and both are looking for the same thing. This can only mean that both fighters are willing to do whatever it takes to get their win and move into a potential title fight.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks [Welterweight Title] (PPV)

Main Card:
“Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen (PPV)

Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (PPV)

Josh “Kos” Koscheck vs. Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (PPV)

Tim Elliott vs. Ali “Puncher” Bagautinov (PPV)

Undercard:
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Evan Dunham (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Ed “Short Fuse” Herman vs. Thales Leites (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole vs. Rick “The Horror” Story (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Erik “Goyito” Perez vs. Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High vs. Anthony “The Recipe” Lapsley (Facebook)

Will Campuzano vs. Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis (Facebook)

Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan vs. Gian Villante (Facebook)

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