Following the thrilling and controversial battle between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, the latter certainly surprised (or terrified) more than a few people, by claiming his punches had been at “70 percent”. After all, not only was GSP’s face beat up, but the challenger clearly hurt the champion on more than one occasion. So, did Hendricks ease off a bit so that he wouldn’t gas in a five round fight? Or was he just saying that because he couldn’t put the champ away like he predicted?
Well, in a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, “Bigg Rigg” offered this interesting explanation:
“I usually get a thick wrap and this time I didn’t do that. Instead of me asking for a thicker wrap, I kept my mouth shut. It’s my fault. That’s on me. It means I hit hard enough that I can punch through the 4 oz gloves. So that’s what made my hands get bruised. I couldn’t punch as hard as I could (have). The more injured I get, the less I get to use it, the more he gets comfortable, so I had to tone down my power. I was still hurting at 70 percent. Wait till I get a full hand wrap. That only builds confidence, because I beat the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I will be back, and I will be stronger than before.”
How about that? Of course, GSP supporters might argue that the champ’s agility and abilities are just as much responsible for why Hendricks didn’t really chuck bombs, but his hands did look pretty swollen after.
Hendricks also noted in the interview that he believes he “clearly” won rounds 1, 2 and 4. In addition, the punishing wrestler relayed that he should have used more kicks in the fight, and that in round four, he let GSP up from the mat because he wanted to win by “knockout.”
Hendricks also said that he has a “great chance” of being on the March 15th, UFC 171 card in Dallas. Hopefully we find out when and where he’s fighting next soon.