When Rory MacDonald withdrew from the UFC 158 co-main event, Johny Hendricks begged for the opportunity to step in his place and fight Carlos Condit.
Unfortunately for Hendricks, Condit is better at nearly every facet of mixed martial arts and will dominate the fight.
Condit is returning to the Octagon for the first time since losing a unanimous decision to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 154. Prior to the St. Pierre loss, Condit had won five consecutive fights, finishing his opponents in three of those victories.
Condit has the skill set to beat Hendricks in a myriad of ways. He has devastating striking power, which he showed in his knockouts of Dong Hyun Kim and Dan Hardy. Against Nick Diaz, he showed his technical striking ability and footwork, which led to his dominant unanimous decision victory.
When his fights have gone to the ground, Condit has used his slick grappling to work 13 submission victories throughout his MMA career.
Hendricks, on the other hand, relies mainly on his power to put away his opponents. When he has been unable to knock out his opponents, he relies on his wrestling base to grind out decisions.
While Hendricks has won five straight fights, several of those victories came by way of controversial split decisions.
Welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger recently discussed Hendricks being over-hyped due his winning streak.
“I’d like to say he’s had, what I call, the perfect storm,” Ellenberger said, referring to Hendricks’ sudden rise in the middleweight rankings. “He’s won some really close fights that could have gone either way.”
Hendricks’ fortunes, however, will end Saturday in Montreal. He will try for the quick knockout, but Condit has the chin to hang with his power, having never been stopped by punches in his 34 fights. Hendricks will soon get frustrated and turn to his wrestling. Condit will stuff his takedown attempts and pick him apart with his superior striking.
Condit, as the slight underdog, will wear down Hendricks early on the way to a unanimous decision victory.