We last saw both Johny Hendricks and UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St Pierre in the Octagon in mid march, as both were fighting and winning decisions against top tier opponents. Since then, it has been a given among UFC watchers that Hendricks would face GSP next, as ‘Bigg Rigg’ has flirted with being the number one contender for a while now. In beating Carlos Condit, he left the UFC decision makers with no choice put to give him title shot, right? Well not so fast…
Hendricks recently revealed in interviews that the bout agreements (beyond the contract, each fighter signs an agreement for each individual bout. Basically a 2nd contract) for the Welterweight title match up are not signed yet. How important are these bout agreements? The UFC won’t start their publicity machine rolling for a fight or even really announce it until both fighters have returned the document signed.
So we don’t really have a fight yet. And Hendrix is now two months removed from his last fight, as is champion Georges St Pierre. Some of the books have preliminary lines that have St Pierre coming in at about a 2.5 to 1 favorite.
Why would the UFC be waiting to sign the fight?
The response is out there – that the UFC is still trying to get a ‘superfight’ between Georges St Pierre and Middleweight head honcho Anderson Silva. The public rhetoric goes that some of the parties believe Silva will lose his upcoming match with Chris Weidman, so the UFC is planning for a GSP vs ‘Bigg Rigg’ fight.
But can the UFC really be waiting to issue the paperwork until after Silva-Weidman on July 6th? If that is the case, then it really shows the UFC to be a promotional company every bit as cutthroat as Top Rank or any in boxing. This would be a company taking athletes at the prime of their careers who are ready to perform and deliberately sitting them out in order to try and maximize the bottom line.
So Johny, your answer to the question ‘when will the bout agreements get finalized’ – if Weidman beats Silva on July 6th, you can look for it by the 9th. If Silva wins, it may be time to dust off the old Jake Ellenberger game plans.