Talk around the UFC has been dominated by the potential Anderson Silva versus Georges St Pierre superfight, which UFC President Dana White has promised for the May 2013 timeframe. What that does to Johny Henricks is anyone’s guess. Hendricks has established himself as the number one contender to the title in the welterweight division with a solid five fight winning streak that includes two ‘shut the lights out’ knock outs of top guys Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. But will we see another interim title while GSP challenges Silva, will Hendricks sit and wait for his shot, will he stay busy? A lot of open questions in the welterweight division….
The key will be how fast the UFC can sign GSP versus Anderson Silva. The reason for this is that if the match his signed for May, it gives GSP the time to methodically and properly gain a few pounds and get into the 185 lb division. Silva won’t make 170 lbs anymore. Few recall that Silva struggled with weight cuts to 170, and that many of the times he fought in SHOOT and Cage Rage was at 80 kilos, or 176 lbs. A catch weight is possible, but GSP will still require time to adjust.
The reverse is also true, GSP will likely want some time off after the Silva fight, which will obviously be the most lucrative of his career. At least part of the training time will include getting himself back to 170 lbs properly. That is if he loses to Silva.
If GSP beats Silva, he can vacate the 170 lb title, and Hendricks will likely be in a title match by the Fall of next year.
Hendricks, more than anything, needs to hope that the GSP-Silva match does not get done. If that is the case, it leaves Hendricks as the next opponent for GSP, and that is where he wants to be.
Will the UFC put an interim title back into the rotation as they wait for GSP? The most appealing athlete from a popularity and talent standpoint in the division is Nick Diaz. Carlos Condit, based on the lumps he left on St Pierre’s head, is always going to be in the discussion. The winner of Demian Maia and Jon Fitch. Jake Ellenberger. Will the UFC bypass the heavy handed but otherwise mild mannered Hendricks?
Hendrics needs to stay active. After another 1 minute fight, he should be asking to fight by February, and he can wait until April or so for a St Pierre fight.
This is why the UFC must get the signatures in ink for St Pierre and Silva ASAP. If they figure the official paperwork for a May fight can be done in January, it leaves Hendricks and basically the entire welterweight division in limbo until the new year.
Hendricks would be an underdog against St Pierre, but he has a real chance at the match. Just get him in the octagon for it….