In a very close, competitive and highly entertaining welterweight war Johny Hendricks maintained his unbeaten run with a unanimous decision win over Carlos Condit.
Condit lands a leg kick immediately and Hendricks wades in throwing big punches, but Condit gets out of danger.
Hendricks stalking Condit and unleashes more huge punches and against the cage his opponent looks in trouble. However Condit suddenly comes to life and lands a nice knee to the head that buys him some space and time to get away.
Still Hendricks is on the offensive and again wades forward with lefts and rights before ducking down and landing a takedown.
Condit looking a submission from his back, but it’s not happening. He’s able to keep Hendricks occupied though and then makes his way back to his feet.
It’s not long before Hendricks is pressing forward again with a series of lefts then once again reaches down for Condit’s legs and secures another takedown, though with a minute left Condit is again back to his feet.
Condit looks to exchange blows and they trade leather toe-to-toe. It’s hectic stuff, but both men are still standing.
A flying knee from Condit and soon after he uses a kimura to get the fight to the ground and takes his back. Hendricks breaks free and Condit lands a front kick to the face, before he’s taken down just as the round ends.
Hendricks gameplan is the same at the start of the second round and a two piece combo lands nicely, though Condit responds with a knee.
More winging blows from Hendricks that lead to him clinching up against the cage and then dumping Condit to the mat.
Condit back to his feet and he lands with a nice right hand and Hendricks slips for a split second.
A familiar pattern then occurs as Hendricks threatens with big punches then ducks down and secures another takedown. As he’s done a couple of time in the fight so far Condit looks for a kimura and uses it to get back to his feet.
Back on the feet Condit lands a few good knees and that causes Hendricks to take a step back. Condit follows up with a head kick attempt.
Condit lands hard again, but Hendricks steamrolls through and scores a big takedown. Hendricks just can’t keep Condit down for long periods though and finds a way back upright.
In another exchange Condit scores a front kick, but Hendricks then takes him down again. Final few seconds and Condit is yet again able to escape.
Inbetween rounds it’s clear from Hendricks corner comments that his left hand may be broken.
Nonetheless, Hendricks begins throwing that left again early in the third. Back to the mat they go with Hendricks on top and this time he seems to have the position secured a little more than in the previous rounds.
Condit’s still extremely crafty from his back though and first goes for a sweep and then starts landing some strikes. Hendricks not really getting the opportunity to land offense of his own and then Condit works upright.
A striking exchange follows and Hendricks lands a big uppercut. Hendricks clinches up against the cage then gets Condit’s hips out from under him to get him down.
Nothing happening for Hendricks down there though and after a few strikes from his back Condit is up.
Good right hand from Condit may have hurt Hendricks and he’s looking for the takedown again to buy him some time. It doesn’t come right away, but soon after he does secure it. Hendricks is bleeding from a cut to his head.
Condit’s up again, flicks up a front kick and then lands some good strikes.
Final few seconds and Condit is finishing strong with more punches and Hendricks doesn’t offer much in return.
Whew, an action packed fight and it’s down to the judges to decide the winner….
It’s a unanimous decision verdict, and it’s in Johny Hendricks favour (29-28 x3).
Hell of a fight from both men. Neither really deserved to be on the losing end of that one, but in the end it was Hendricks repeated takedowns that helped secure him the victory.
All credit to Condit though for having the courage to take on the notoriously heavy-handed Hendricks on the feet and actually often getting the better of that action. It’s unfortunate there has to be a loser in this one, but this won’t be the kind of result that will push him too far out of the title mix.