Saturday Night the UFC heads back to Houston, TX for UFC 192 Cormier vs. Gustafsson. This will be the fourth time the UFC has hosted an event inside the Toyota Center. Now while the main event is a light heavyweight title match between Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, all eyes will be on the co-main event, which puts Tyron Woodley against Johnny Hendricks in what should be a title eliminator bout, putting the winner against whoever is victorious in the Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit title fight at the beginning of next year.

Woodley and Hendricks do have a past together, but not inside of the cage. This rivalry dates back to a wrestling match on March 5, 2005, where Woodley, a senior at the University of Missouri, would face a younger Hendricks, who was a sophomore at Oklahoma State. Hendricks would end up winning this match, but not without controversy. In the second period of the match, Hendricks placed his hand over Woodley’s mouth, only to be bitten by the senior wrestler. The two have had bad blood ever since.

When these two men step into the cage on fight night, we will see two fighters that have evolved into two of the top welterweights on the planet. Woodley, who is 18-3 MMA, is facing a man with almost the same credentials in Hendricks, who is 20-3. These two hard-hitting wrestlers are in the upper echelon when it comes to men with wrestling backgrounds who have found that they can both stand with the best of them, with both men possessing one punch knockout power. So how does Woodley ensure he walks away with the win this time? He will need to follow these keys to victory if he wants to finally have his shot at UFC gold!

Circle Left:

We have all seen Hendricks’ devastating knockout power on display. When he lands his signature left hand on your chin, you will go to sleep. So Woodley will want to circle left to avoid falling into what could be a very short night for him. If Woodley can circle left, use his jab, and avoid the left hand of Hendricks, he will be on his way to another victory and one shot closer to becoming a UFC champion.

Keep It Standing:

Although these two men are great wrestlers, Woodley has the advantage on the feet. Not taking anything away from Hendricks’ stand up game, but he relies heavily on that left hand, whereas Woodley has truly evolved into a true mixed martial artist with great boxing skills. We have seen this on display on several occasions over his past five fights. Keep it standing, circle left, work the jab and use your more advanced boxing skills to send Hendricks to dream land.

Leg Kicks:

We all know wrestlers rely on their front leg to shoot in and go for the takedown. If Woodley can start early at chopping away on Hendricks’ lead leg, he will be forced to keep it standing and have to face the better striker in Woodley. This will work to Woodley’s advantage so he can do what he does best, and that is go for that one punch that will send Hendricks back to the drawing board and one fight further away from getting another title shot.

About The Author

Jeremiah York
Staff Writer

In 1993 at 16 years old my Mom let me order UFC #1 on PPV. Then and there my life changed! To find a sport that put man against man, skill against skill in the rawest form was absolutely amazing! My love for MMA was found and I have been following all aspects of Combat Sports since. If I'm not traveling to watch fights I am studying and catching up on everything MMA at home. I am a Denver Native, but I live in TX now where the fight scene is booming! When I'm not watching and dissecting fights I'm out in the market selling beer as the TX Area Sales Manager for Uinta Brewing.