We’ve seen it over and over again.
When fighters lose a fight – especially a close decision – they start extrapolating every little nuance of the fight. They meticulously comb over every detail, and turn the tiniest deviation from their usual routine into the catalyst of their defeat.
This has turned us cynical, for better or worse. We almost reject any attempt at explaining a loss, immediately seeing it as an excuse. And it’s a practice that’s not always fair to the fighter.
Johny Hendricks is the newest fighter to ask for our consideration and open-mindedness, while he explains one of those tiny deviations that could have possibly cost him the win, at UFC 167…
His hand wraps.
After Dana White scolded him for believing “70% power” would be enough to beat longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Hendricks explained to the Dallas Morning-News that the way in which his hands were wrapped ended up dictating his striking strategy.
” 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.”
Hendricks also admits another possible faux pas: letting GSP get back to his feet in the fourth round.
” Yeah I did let him up. I was beating him everywhere I had him. He wasn’t hurting me on the feet. I did some ground and pound. I showed the world I can do that. I want to win by knockout. I don’t want to be the person who takes him down and is cautious. I want to make fans happy.”
“[My grappling coach], he said, ‘you’re 2-1 and best case scenario 3-0.’ They were giving me round-by round updates. We thought we had it in the bag.”
Turns out there was nothing in that bag, as Hendricks went on to drop a hotly-contested split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47).
Tags: Chael Sonnen, Fighter's Salaries, george st pierre, gsp, Johnny Hendrix, Rashad Evans, UFC 167