Anderson Silva may be the top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but Johny Hendricks could be a more dangerous opponent for Georges St. Pierre, according to Pat Miletich.
“If I’m Georges St. Pierre, to be honest with you, I’m probably going to lean towards fighting Anderson Silva,” the analyst and former UFC welterweight champion told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show. “… There’s a hell of a lot more to gain obviously with [fighting Silva], but that might even, to be honest with you, be a safer fight for him.”
St. Pierre defended his welterweight title Saturday with a unanimous decision over Carlos Condit at UFC 154. UFC President Dana White is hoping to match the Canadian against Silva in May, but St. Pierre hasn’t yet expressed a definite interest in the matchup. Another option would be for him to defend his 170-pound title next against Hendricks, who was also victorious Saturday with a 46-second knockout of Martin Kampmann.
“I think Johny Hendricks might have a unique game that may go as a serious risk for GSP,” Miletich said.
A two-time NCAA champion wrestler at Oklahoma State, Hendricks has become one of the biggest punchers in the welterweight division. Before knocking out Kampmann, he flattened Jon Fitch in December.
“[St. Pierre] may get a takedown, but he’s not holding Hendricks down,” Miletich said. “I think Hendricks is obviously a good enough wrestler, a strong enough guy when he’s coming back up. And Hendricks has some serious one-punch knockout power. When he hits people, he’s sliding them across the ice.”
Miletich compared Hendricks’ aggression to the way he fought himself early in his career.
“When I first started fighting, I was a reckless psychopath,” Miletich said. “I really didn’t care what the other guy was doing. I was going to kill him either way. But as I got a lot more experience and got a lot more educated about the finesse game of striking, of grapping and everything else, it quickly dawned on me how many ways there were for me to lose. So I became a lot more cautious over time. Hendricks is kind of at that point where he knows just enough to kill people and doesn’t care about what you’re doing. That makes a guy pretty freakin’ dangerous.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:05).