TSN.ca's MMA staff including James Lynch – TSN.ca (@lynchonsports), John Pollock – TSN Radio 1050 (@iamjohnpollock) and Jordan Cieciwa – TSN Radio 1290 (@FitCityJordan), take a look at some of the hottest issues in mixed martial arts. With Jordan away in Thailand this week, fellow TSN 1290 “Weigh-In” co-host “Big” Marv Timog fills in.
1) How did you score the Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks fight at UFC 167?
James Lynch – TSN.ca (@lynchonsports)
I was extremely vocal on Twitter after the scorecards were announced at UFC 167 when in fact Georges St-Pierre had taken home the split decision.
I actually tweeted the words “Huge Robbery” and now I regret making that statement, although to be fair I was running on dose of pure emotion. It wasn't a robbery, but it wasn't the right decision.
If you want an example of a fight that was a “robbery” look at Phil Davis' victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163 earlier this year.
Even after re-watching this fight, I still scored the first round for Hendricks, which seems to be the round that pundits have been debating the last 48-hours. While St-Pierre did secure the early takedown, I thought with Hendricks landing more shots throughout the remainder of the round earned him the nod.
To clarify, I gave rounds 1, 2 and 4 to Hendricks and GSP rounds 3 and 5. I'm not alone either, 13 other media members scored the fight for Hendricks over at MMADecisions.com including our own John Pollock.
Big Marv” Timog – Co-host TSN 1290's “The Weigh-In” (@BIGMARV204)
Count me as one of the people shocked to see GSP's hand raised at the end of their fight. I had to re-watch the fight to figure out how bad the decision was.
GSP clearly wins rounds 3 and 5, while “Bigg Rigg” clearly wins rounds 2 and 4. That leaves us with round 1, which is the round to watch and determine who truly won. It was a close round, I can now see how some would score it for GSP, but I had it for Hendricks.
Overall, I give the fight to Johny Hendricks, although I think it was closer than I had originally thought. A bit off topic, but I also hate when people use the amount of damage to the face as a way to judge a fight.
John Pollock – Host TSN 1050's “The MMA Report” (@iamjohnpollock)
I scored the fight 48-47 for Johny Hendricks on first viewing, re-watched the first round the following day and still feel Hendricks landed the most effective shots during the opening round.
For me the key was the short uppercuts Hendricks connected with while St-Pierre went for his single and then put Hendricks up against the cage and absorbed the elbows clean to the side of his head.
Each had a takedown and neither was able to do anything with the other when they took them down. It was a close round but I was confident Hendricks won the first round.
2) How should Dana White handle St-Pierre's extended leave from the promotion?
Honestly with everything St-Pierre has done for the promotion, Dana should give GSP some time and space to let him decide for himself in the coming months.
Neither fighter will be back in action at least for another six months anyways due to injuries.
In addition, we should also see who wins the upcoming fight next month between Carlos Condit and Matt Brown and where Robbie Lawler fits into the title picture.
If bantamweight champion Dominck Cruz can be out with an injury and remain champion for close to two years, then the promotion can give St-Pierre the same leeway.
Even if St-Pierre hasn't made up his mind on if he's retiring for good, no harm in creating an interim belt during his vacancy.
That, by the way, should not be decided today or this week.
Consider that St-Pierre's UFC debut was back in January of 2004 and has remained champion since 2008, he deserves more respect.
Dana White needs to get a definitive answer from the welterweight champion.
If Georges St-Pierre is retiring he needs to make it clear.
Should he step away for a while, he needs to provide a timeline and if it's a year or longer off, then the title should be vacated.
GSP has to know he can't hold the division hostage while he sorts through his issues.
It all depends on St-Pierre and where his head is at and what his time table is for fighting again.
If St-Pierre needs a mini-vacation and can fight in the summer then all is fine and Hendricks could even wait for the rematch.
If St-Pierre is leaving for an indefinite period of time, you have to start looking at an interim title situation, which no one is a fan of.
White is very confident St-Pierre isn't leaving for a prolonged period of time, but until we know what the issues are and how St-Pierre plans to tackle them, we're just throwing darts in the dark in terms of a remedy scenario.
3) What's next for Johny Hendricks?
Once Dana White gets an indication of how long GSP will be out, then we can determine what's next for Hendricks.
I really think even if it's close to a year from now, we'll see the Hendricks vs. St-Pierre rematch in a neutral location (not Vegas, Texas, Montreal or Toronto).
If St-Pierre intends to be out longer than that and Matt Brown defeats Carlos Condit, then you see Hendricks vs. Brown for the interim (or perhaps vacant) welterweight title.
However if Condit defeats Brown at UFC on FOX 9, then perhaps you see Robbie Lawler (who defeated Rory MacDonald this past Saturday) as the next potential contender.
I'm of the belief that prior to Saturday's encounter at UFC 167, St-Pierre fully planned to retire had he dominated Hendricks like he expected to.
Because it was a much closer fight, he didn't fully commit to retirement because he wanted to leave the door open.
If St-Pierre decided to retire today, vacate the title, I'd be content with that because he's done enough for the sport.
Johny Hendricks gets the next title shot, period. It's the right thing to do. To appease the fans alone, you need to make this happen.
Should it be a rematch against GSP? Absolutely, but, I can't be the only one who thinks forcing an unmotivated GSP into another Hendricks fight is a good thing.
I say vacate the championship, and Hendricks takes on the winner of Matt Brown and Carlos Condit. And yes I say “vacate” not “interim”
Like the last question it's dependent on St-Pierre.
If he can fight by next summer then Hendricks should wait and get an immediate rematch.
If not, he has a number of options from Robbie Lawler to the winner of Matt Brown / Carlos Condit (though Condit makes little sense for him to fight again other than staying busy).
My instinct suggests the rematch with St-Pierre will be his next fight.