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Johny Hendricks had it "in the bag" and was about to become the UFC welterweight champion.
At least that's what a trio of guys screaming and high-fiving near me at Arooga's in Hanover, Pa. thought.
There was no way Georges St. Pierre had just retained his title and improved to 25-2. St. Pierre's face looked like he had just gone through a meat grinder while Hendricks looked nearly unscathed.
Hendricks landed more strikes, thought he had won three of the first four rounds, and just fought defensively in the fifth round.
Yet, it was St. Pierre who had his hand raised Saturday at UFC 167, retaining his title, before leaving the octagon (perhaps for an extended period of time).
Now I'm no UFC expert. In fact, Saturday's event was one of the first in a while that I watched from beginning to end.
But I did learn one important thing from the event, particularly the final fight - don't leave the decision in the hands of the judges.
Could Hendricks have knocked out St. Pierre in the final round? Maybe. But he never appeared to try that hard to do so. He was sure that he had the points in the first four rounds to knock off the champ and fought much more conservatively in the fifth.
Perhaps St. Pierre's appearance was deceiving. Sure, he had taken some big blows from Hendricks, but it's not like it was a one-sided fight.
GSP is certainly no slouch. He hasn't lost since 2007. And prior to Saturday, all of his wins since then had been by either unanimous decision, submission, or TKO.
It could be that that impressive resume swayed the judges. It could be they felt that such a close fight should go to the defending champ.
Or maybe they just saw the competitive first and third rounds differently than most critics have been saying since the fight.
Flyweight Tim Elliott likely can feel Hendricks' pain. Elliot was flabbergasted when he found out he lost the opening bout to Ali Bagautinov by unanimous decision.
Elliott landed more strikes and at one point had Bagautinov in a lethal submission. But it was clear that Bagautinov had done more than enough to earn the win and improve to 12-2.
Rashad Evans and Tyron Woodley didn't give their opponents the chance to let the judges score a close bout. Evans' opponent, Chael Sonnen, hasn't had the best past two years.
Sonnen had been knocked out in two of his last three fights entering Saturday, both title-match losses to Jon "Bones" Jones and Anderson Silva.
Evans, a former light heavyweight champ, had the same success. "Suga" was aggressive and knocked out Sonnen just over four minutes into the first round.
Woodley, known as "The Chosen One," further proved why he has earned that moniker. He had 47 strikes, compared to opponent Josh Koscheck's seven, had two knockdowns, and also knocked out his opponent in the first round.
Also on Saturday, welterweight Robbie Lawler upset Rory MacDonald with a split-decision win, surely making Lawler's camp feel he deserves a title shot against GSP.
But so does Hendricks. Hendricks feels he should already be the champ. UFC president Dana White even thinks Hendricks should be the champ right now.
So surely Hendricks should get a rematch against St. Pierre, right?
Perhaps not.
After the bout, GSP, while having trouble talking and seeing out of one eye, said he'll be taking some time off from UFC. There's been speculation that he may have some personal issues, but St. Pierre did not explain his reason for the absence.
However, if and when St. Pierre does take this extended break, it sure seems fair to give Hendricks one more shot at the title.
Had it not been for one judge's decision, Hendricks would have extended his winning streak to seven. He would have improved to 16-1. And the former NCAA Division I wrestling champ would have had his first UFC title around his waist.
Surely that should entitle Hendricks to a rematch. And I can't imagine how St. Pierre would argue against that.
So maybe before GSP takes this extended break, he should let Hendricks have the rematch that he deserves. It's a fight people want to see, a fight that White feels is warranted, and certainly a fight Hendricks knows he can win.
Except maybe next time, Hendricks wouldn't leave it to the judges to decide.

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