The possibility of a one-punch knockout ending an historic Ultimate Fighting Championship title reign tends to get the collective blood pumping.
Longtime welterweight titleholder Georges St. Pierre checked in at 170 pounds, as he prepares to defend his crown against No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks (170) in the UFC 167 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Light heavyweight co-headliners Rashad Evans (205) and Chael Sonnen (206) also met their mandated weight requirements without issue at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC 167 Free Fan Pick’Em
St. Pierre will enter the cage on a career-best 11-fight winning streak. The 32-year-old Tristar Gym export last fought at UFC 158 in March, when he cruised to a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz at the Bell Centre in Montreal. “Rush” has held the welterweight championship since April 19, 2008, his 2,037 days on the throne representing the second-longest title reign in the UFC’s 20-year history. Wins over Matt Hughes (twice), B.J. Penn (twice), Carlos Condit, Sean Sherk, Jake Shields and Jon Fitch anchor the stellar St. Pierre resume. His 18 victories inside the Octagon tie him with Hughes for first on the all-time list.
The once-beaten Hendricks has rattled off six wins in a row. A decorated amateur wrestler, he was a four-time NCAA All-American and two-time national champion at Oklahoma State University. Hendricks has not competed since he outpointed Condit in the UFC 158 co-main event eight months ago. A potent power puncher, the 30-year-old Team Takedown representative has finished four different opponents -- Fitch, Martin Kampmann, Amir Sadollah and T.J. Waldburger -- in 95 seconds or less. Hendricks has compiled a 10-1 mark since arriving in the UFC as part of the World Extreme Cagefighting exodus in 2009.
UFC 167 “St. Pierre vs. Hendricks” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- will also feature a flyweight clash pitting Tim Elliott (125) against two-time combat sambo world champion Ali Bagautinov (126) and a pair of welterweight scraps, as Rory MacDonald (171) meets onetime EliteXC titleholder Robbie Lawler (170) and Josh Koscheck (170) faces American Top Team’s Tyron Woodley (171).
Two hours prior, Fox Sports 1 will carry four preliminary bouts: Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Evan Dunham (156), Ed Herman (186) vs. Thales Leites (186), Rick Story (170) vs. Brian Ebersole (171) and Erik Perez (135) vs. Edwin Figueroa (135). The remaining three undercard matchups will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, as 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix finalist Jason High (170) locks horns with Anthony Lapsley (170), Roufusport prospect Sergio Pettis (135) collides with Will Campuzano (135) and former Ring of Combat champion Gian Villante (205) takes on Cody Donovan (205).
UFC 167 ‘St. Pierre vs. Hendricks’ Weigh-In Results:Georges St. Pierre (170) vs. Johny Hendricks (170)
Rashad Evans (205) vs. Chael Sonnen (206)
Rory MacDonald (171) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
Josh Koscheck (170) vs. Tyron Woodley (171)
Tim Elliott (125) vs. Ali Bagautinov (126)
Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Evan Dunham (156)
Ed Herman (186) vs. Thales Leites (186)
Rick Story (170) vs. Brian Ebersole (171)
Erik Perez (135) vs. Edwin Figueroa (135)
Jason High (170) vs. Anthony Lapsley (170)
Sergio Pettis (135) vs. Will Campuzano (135)
Gian Villante (205) vs. Cody Donovan (205)