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UFC 167: St-Pierre vs Hendricks – Predictions

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UFC 167 goes down this coming weekend on November 16th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a main event of current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defending his title against Johny Hendricks and a co-main event that see’s UFC veterans Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen square off in the light heavyweight division.

Here are our MMAInsider.net staff picks.  Feel free to share your picks in the comments!

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Welterweight Title Bout – Georges St-Pierre (c) (24-2) vs Johny Hendricks (15-1)

DR: I’ve been over this fight several times in my mind leading up to the bout. Hendricks probably has the most powerful striking in the welterweight division and a high level wrestling background to go with it. Meanwhile, GSP is the champion for a reason and not only has a tremendous amount of offensive skills at his disposal, but he also possesses some of the best defensive tools in all of MMA. Can Hendricks land that power shot? Can GSP take Hendricks down at will like he has with most of his opponents? How will Hendricks look to utilise his own wrestling? Can Hendricks get inside the jab of GSP? These are all questions we’re going to have answered in a little more than 24 hours. While trying not to sit on the fence I see this one ending in one of two ways, either a highlight reel knockout for Hendricks, or a calculated decision victory for St-Pierre. Hendricks showed signs of slowing down in his three round bout with Condit and whether or not he has the conditioning to go five tough rounds with GSP I’m not so sure. However, after struggling to even convince myself who’s going to win this fight and changing my mind several times in the last few days, I’m going to go with my first thought when I heard the bout was rumoured to be taking place and that’s a spectacular knockout victory for the underdog. – Hendricks via (T)KO

JS: This is a scary fight for Georges St. Pierre. He has a very game opponent who refused to be intimidated by his stature in the MMA world. He possesses some of the best wrestling and the best power in the welterweight division and can end the fight in one shot. I don’t think however, he’s in GSP’s head. St Pierre is out to prove he is the best in the sport and has the mindset in no uncertain terms that he has to beat Hendricks convincingly to do so. He has outstruck good strikers, he has outwrestled elite wrestlers and he has stifled the submission game of everyone so far. I believe that if GSP is functioning in top form and still wants to compete at the highest level (and is not bored with his current prospects within MMA), the only thing in his division that can beat GSP is GSP’s mind itself. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a retirement/hiatus announcement following the fight. GSP via Decision


Light Heavyweight Bout – Chael Sonnen (29-13-1) vs Rashad Evans (18-3-1)

DR: Firstly it’s a pleasure to see two men who have admitted to a friendship outside of the cage put that to one side so that they can compete against one another in the co-main event. Whenever Chael shows up you know he’s going to be there to fight, and give everything he can in order to get his hand raised. While Sonnen and Evans are both known for their strong wrestling, Rashad is also remembered for his boxing and fast hands, where as Sonnen, who may be a talented wrestler that is always game for a fight, still remains relatively one-dimensional. I expect the diversity in Rashad’s gameplan to be the difference in this one and while they are both strong in the wrestling department, neither one of them holds a big advantage that would allow them to take their opponent down at will, meaning much of this bout is likely to be contested standing, which should play into Rashad’s favour. One way or another I expect this to be a close and highly competitive fight, but I have to go with Rashad to end up with the win and the Fox Sports bragging rights when it’s all over. – Evans via Decision

JS: Rashad and Chael, Chael and Rashad two men with quite possibly the most swagger in the history of MMA. I truly had a difficult time picking this fight. I feel confident in Chael’s ability to get this to the floor, however I don’t think he has the quickness to keep it there for an extended period. I like the fact that we will probably be hearing about this fight for some time to come (through each other’s analysis) so they will likely want to make it exciting for fans. I will choose Rashad ultimately because I feel this fight will primarily be contested on the feet. Rashad in my mind, has both a hand speed and technical advantage in that realm and eeks out a close decision. – Evans via Decision


Welterweight Bout – Rory MacDonald (15-1) vs Robbie Lawler (21-9, 1nc))

DR: I fully expect Robbie Lawler to make this fight a far more exciting one than MacDonald’s last bout against Jake Ellenberger. However, while Lawler’s style is sure to make this an enjoyable encounter for the fans, I think Lawler’s aggression could be his downfall in this one. If he chooses to rush in then it should allow MacDonald to not only pick his shots standing and work his jab, but also help him to take this fight to the mat on route to a decision victory. There’s always a chance with Lawler’s punching power he can end this at any moment, but after several training camps with the likes of GSP, I expect him to be too technical to allow any major mistakes that lead to Lawler catching him with a big shot. – MacDonald via Decision

JS: I see Rory dominating this fight in a very calculated manner. He has tremendous athletic ability combined with a great camp and a fight IQ rarely seen in a fighter so young. I really do feel the GSP type comparisons are valid as it seems steel is sharpening steel (is there an upcoming  Wada test on the water at Tristar gym?). Lawler always has the proverbial punchers chance and also has the power to turn out the lights of anyone at 170, but I believe Mcdonald is agile enough to prevent Lawler from landing the fight ending shot.- MacDonald via (T)KO


Welterweight Bout –  Josh Koscheck (17-7) vs Tyron Woodley (11-2)

DR: With the welterweight title on the line in the main event, talk will soon move to the next challenger. With that in mind, while both Koscheck and Woodley are perhaps a little while away from a title shot, they’ll both know that the loser faces a huge climb back up the ranks, making this an extremely important fight for both of them. The bout features two similar fighters, who are largely known for their wrestling background and powerful, if not the most technical, striking. This is a close one to call as both men have plenty to prove after recent set backs but I think Koscheck will draw on his vast experience of high level fights and rise to the occasion to pull this one off in a narrow decision victory. – Koscheck via Decision

JS: This in my mind is the battle to remain relevant at 170 pounds. It certainly should be intriguing to see which gameplan becomes the dominant one in this fight for both men. I myself fear a stagnant bout (like Ellenberger vs Mcdonald) in which the wrestling abilities of both men cancel each other out for the most part. I however, am going in the opposite direction as to that of my colleague. I believe Woodley has a speed advantage (that may be a youth factor) and I expect him to use range and outpoint Kos from the outside to sway a very close decision in his favour. – Woodley via Decision


Flyweight Bout – Ali Bagautinov (11-2) vs Tim Elliott (10-3-1)

DR: While admittedly I haven’t seen to much of the Russian he looked excellent in his recent debut against Marcos Vinicius and I believe his power could be the difference here, not to mention the Russians in general have been in fine form in the UFC as of late. A tough one to call against the well rounded Elliott but I’m going with my gut. – Bagautinov via (T)KO

JS: I always enjoy watching the flyweight division scraps and this fight will be no exception. Elliott was faced with the unfortunate circumstance of facing John Dodson in his UFC debut but this remains his only loss in his past 11 bouts. I was impressed with the way he uses his aggression and wild techniques to disrupt the timing of his opponents and against an opponent like Bagautinov who possesses the power to finish fights in this division, this should serve him well. Elliott via Decision 


Lightweight Bout – Donald Cerrone (20-6, 1nc)) vs Evan Dunham (14-4)

DR: Cerrone via Decision

JS: Cerrone via (T)KO


Middleweight Bout – Ed Herman (21-9, 1nc)) vs Thales Leites (21-4)

DR: Leites via Decision

JS: Leites via Submission


Welterweight Bout – Brian Ebersole (50-15-1, 1nc)) vs Rick Story (15-7)

DR: Story via Decision

JS: Story via Decision


Bantamweight Bout – Edwin Figueroa (9-3) vs Erik Perez (13-5)

DR: Perez via (T)KO

JS: Perez via (T)KO


Welterweight Bout – Jason High (17-4) vs Anthony Lapsley (22-5, 2nc)

DR: High via Submission

JS: High via Submission


Bantamweight Bout – Sergio Pettis (9-0) vs Will Campuzano (13-4)

DR: Pettis via Submission

JS: Pettis via Decision


Light Heavyweight Bout – Gian Villante (10-4) vs Cody Donovan (8-3)

DR: Villante via (T)KO

JS: Villante via (T)KO

 

Current scores after 16 events:

Chuck Grace:  – 111/165 (67%)

Dave Reid:  – 99/165 (60%)

Jordan Smith:  – 88/152 (58%)

Chris Pohlman: – 66/105 (63%)

Paul Bruens – 50/71 (71%)

Dane Ford:  – 50/83 (60%)

Douglas Keast: – 11/23 (48%)

About Dave Reid

Dave is an avid MMA fan and the content officer for MMAInsider.net If you would like to get in touch with him you can email him at dreid@mmainsider.net or follow him on twitter @davereiduk

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