UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre retained his title tonight in Las Vegas, but he didn’t quite seem victorious when leaving the cage.
The long-reigning 170-pound kingpin was awarded a split decision over challenger Johny Hendricks in a call that even had UFC color commentator Joe Rogan openly questioning its validity. In addition to the controversial outcome, St-Pierre revealed following the fight that he needed to take some time to hang up his gloves “at least for now” to focus on personal issues. While he wouldn’t commit fully to retiring, he was adamant that he needed to step away from the sport for the time being.
This incensed Johny Hendricks, who felt very strongly that he won the bout and deserved to be wearing the belt. Regardless of whether or not he’ll get a rematch with St-Pierre, Hendricks vowed to get back to the title one way or another.
Though the champion never made it easy, Hendricks appeared to be the more offensively effective fighter throughout the bout. St-Pierre landed often with shots from the outside, but it was Hendricks’ power shots that did the most obvious damage. St-Pierre was battered and bloodied early on, but managed to stay in the fight until the very end. Hendricks landed more takedowns on St-Pierre than any previous opponent during his championship run, but St-Pierre managed to answer with several of his own. And while his strikes never looked to have Hendricks in trouble, he landed frequently.
The bout was hardly a shutout, no matter who you had winning it. Still, if this is St-Pierre’s final fight, it seems an awfully inconclusive way to go out.
With the loss, Hendricks’ sees his six-fight streak broken. In victory, St-Pierre becomes the new record holder for most consecutive wins in the Octagon at nineteen, most consecutive title defenses at eleven and most consecutive fight time spent in the Octagon. Check out full coverage and results of the event here.