Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.
Johny Hendricks spent a couple of years living in Las Vegas.
No one will be able to tell Saturday night during the main event of UFC 167. For this week, the Fight Capital of the World is part of Georges St. Pierre’s home turf.
Friday’s weigh-in ahead of the UFC’s 20th anniversary card reinforced the belief that a pro-St. Pierre crowd will make its presence known. Hendricks drew a handful of cheers as he walked up to the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but chants of “GSP” had drowned everything else out by the time the challenger hit the scale.
“I’m gonna knock him out,” Hendricks told the crowd. “That’s all I want to do.”
Hendricks went on with more prolonged thoughts, but no one at the event could hear them as boos proved much louder than the arena’s speakers. St. Pierre was more than 2,500 miles away from his home in Montreal, but the reaction was as energetic as his last two fights at the Bell Centre.
The Canadian’s position as the most popular fighter in the world is in no danger of fading anytime soon.
“My toughest test, but don’t blink,” St. Pierre said in his final comments. “It’s going to be a good fight.”
St. Pierre and Hendricks both came in right at the 170-pound limit. They posed cordially for their staredown photo and embraced afterwards, showing no lingering resentment from their long-running disagreement.
If anyone was planning to blink during one of the UFC’s biggest fight weeks as St. Pierre hinted, they would have been wise to do it Friday. There wasn’t much to see at the weigh-in.
All 24 fighters comfortably made weight, with no one even having to use more than one attempt.
A few of them weren’t interested in a staredown photo either, as lightweight veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (155) instead joked around with opponent Evan Dunham (156) and put his belt back on instead of taking part in the normal photo opportunity.
Pay-per-view openers Tim Elliott (125) and Ali Bagautinov (126) followed the same script in the fight afterward. It wasn’t until Josh Koscheck (170) and Tyron Woodley (171) hit the stage that fans got the type of tense face-offs these events typically produce.
Nearly a decade after establishing himself as a villain, Koscheck is still getting booed at every public appearance. Rory MacDonald (171) received some negative reaction in the fight after Koscheck, but only for a few seconds.
Cheers overtook jeers quickly as MacDonald made his way toward opponent Robbie Lawler (170), who stood stoic during the staredown and passed on an opportunity to shake hands.
As St. Pierre’s teammate, there was no way MacDonald would get booed for long. The MGM belongs to St. Pierre for now.
Read below for full results from the UFC 167 weigh-in.
Welterweight championship bout: Georges St. Pierre (170) vs. Johny Hendricks (170)
Light heavyweight bout: Rashad Evans (205) vs. Chael Sonnen (206)
Welterweight bout: Rory MacDonald (171) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck (170) vs. Tyron Woodley (171)
Flyweight bout: Tim Elliott (125) vs. Ali Bagautinov (126)
Lightweight bout: Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Evan Dunham (156)
Middleweight bout: Ed Herman (186) vs. Thales Leites (186)
Welterweight bout: Brian Ebersole (171) vs. Rick Story (170)
Bantamweight bout: Erik Perez (135) vs. Edwin Figueroa (135)
Welterweight bout: Jason High (170) vs. Anthony Lapsley (170)
Bantamweight bout: Will Campuzano (135) vs. Sergio Pettis (135)
Light heavyweight bout: Cody Donovan (205) vs. Gian Villante (205)