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Dana White: The UFC Didn’t Pass Over Johny Hendricks, GSP Asked for Diaz

Posted on by Damon Martin

Johny Hendricks at UFC 141It’s been a mixed bag of reactions over the last few days regarding the announcement that Georges St-Pierre would fight Nick Diaz next at UFC 158 instead of Johny Hendricks.

On paper, Hendricks is far and away the No. 1 contender at 170 pounds with three wins over top ten opposition in the last 12 months, including knockouts of both Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann.

But Georges St-Pierre wanted to face Nick Diaz to settle more than a year of hype leading into their potential fight, and so what do you give the man who never asks for anything when he finally asks for something?

If you’re the UFC, you give him what he wants.

“The guy’s never asked us for anything. He’s an awesome champion, he does anything we ask of him, and he asked us for a favor. He wants to fight Diaz. It’s not like people don’t want to see it,” UFC president Dana White said about St-Pierre’s request.

White is careful to point out that they didn’t pass over Johny Hendricks for the top spot in the title race. They only chose to give St-Pierre the fight he was asking for, against Nick Diaz.

“The UFC didn’t do that, the champ did. The champ called him out and wanted to fight him. So the UFC didn’t do it, the guy who held the belt did,” said White.

“That’s who he asked us to fight, and like I just said, when somebody goes on a run as long as Georges St-Pierre has, done what he’s does for the sport, for that division and everything else, they ask for a fight that they want, then they’ll get it too.”

St-Pierre faces Diaz in the main event for UFC 158 while Hendricks will also compete on the card against Jake Ellenberger in an additional welterweight showdown.

Should he win, White says it’s a no-brainer that Hendricks would be next in line for a crack at Georges St-Pierre.

“Hendricks is definitely a contender right now, and yes, he’d be next in line,” White answered.

There is no doubt St-Pierrre vs. Diaz will be a top pay-per-view for all of 2013, and it looks like at least for this occasion, what the champ wants, the champ gets.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest news on UFC 158 and Georges St-Pierre.

  • gogo

    Careful what you wish, you may regret it.. careful what you wish, you just miight GEET IT!!!

    • Guest

      Diaz is a cakewalk for St Pierre

  • Guest

    “We didn’t side step Hendrick’s…” BS topped with a little more BS

  • Showtyme519

    F’n Dana, I guarantee behind closed doors the UFC was telling GSP they’d rather him fight Diaz, They know it will sell WAY more PPV’s and will be WAY more hype around it. They throw GSP right under the bus anyways, Like the UFC aren’t the ones to make the final decision. What’s wrong with backing him up and just say Diaz/Condit was super close, just like most people thought Kos beat Hendricks, this is the fight fans want to see. End of story, but no he makes GSP look bad, your top earner, top draw. Bogus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Shakeshaft/100003573348840 Hugh Shakeshaft

    Dana tries to throw GSP under the bus. Regarless, Diaz should be the one fighting Ellenberger. Put simply, I’ll pay for GSP Hendricks but not GSP Diaz. Vote with your dollars fight fans. If you want to see the UFC become the WWE then pay for GSP Diaz. If you want to see the UFC become the NFL, don’t pay for GSP Diaz.

    • b-soc

      You said it…….vote with your dollars fight fans!!! The vans will vote for GSP Diaz. As far as I’m concerned, the UFC or FUC is probably what they should be called, took the WWE route when they gave Chael Sonnen, fresh off getting destroyed by Anderson Silva, a title shot at a higher weight class. Only difference between this and the WWE is the fighting is real!!!

  • b-soc

    I’m like a broken record in these forums. The UFC is about money now. Diaz, Sonnen, etc bring in money win, lose, or draw. Someone tell me – does Chael Sonnen have any right what so ever to step in the same Octagon as Jon Jones?!? If you say yes, you are smoking more weed than Diaz!! The UFC in the last little while has taken the direction of money fights, so they can say GSP wanted it, but it doesn’t matter. The “casual” fan wants it. Bottom line. And, why wouldn’t GSP want the easier fight for more money!!! The only loser in this situation is Johnny Hendricks, and no arguments, it isn’t right, but personally, I would rather see GSP destroy Diaz. So the article should read after he said GSP wanted it “not to mention, Lorenzo and I are going to make a dump truck load of money off this fight so why would be argue!!!!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.mcdowall.14 Mark McDowall

      The UFC is a business…so saying they are only doing it to make more money is exactly right. More people will buy a PPV with a grudge match between GSP & Diaz, then they will a fight between GSP & Hendricks. Is that fair…hell no it isn’t. But that’s the way it is. All of GSP headlined cards have been top sellers for the UFC so why not give him what he wants? Keep your biggest money maker happy…that’s what you do in business. You take care of those that take care of you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Shakeshaft/100003573348840 Hugh Shakeshaft

        The NFL is in business to make money. They put the two teams who win the playoffs into the Superbowl not the two biggest rivals. UFC is behaving like the WWE.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mark.mcdowall.14 Mark McDowall

          Your totally right…but the NFL sticks to a play off/tournament system like Bellator does. If UFC did it like that then this entire discussion wouldn’t be taking place. THEY start with an 8-16 man tournament, and the winner gets the title shot. Thats the way it SHOULD be…best fighter gets the title shot. Until the UFC does it like that…the most deserving fighter…in this case, Hendricks…wont always get the next shot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Shakeshaft/100003573348840 Hugh Shakeshaft

      The big loser in the situation is the legitimacy of the UFC.

  • rolando mota

    If u dont like it….dont watch it …stop complaining and enjoy what is to be a great fight anyway…f’n crybabies …go start ur own fight league see how good u run ****…

    • MMA

      Is that you Dana?

  • bajafox

    GSP asking for Diaz put my $50 in the UFC’s pocket.

    GSP vs. Hendricks, I’ll read about it on MMAWeekly the next day.

    Moral of the story, it’s all about the Benjamins…

  • julian moran

    Though I will watch any Diaz fight, the fight I want to see is Diaz vs Mc Donald. Condit should fight Ellenberger and GSP should get Hendricks.
    After Diaz beats Mc Donald he can fight GSP. Money speaking these match ups make sense to me.

  • Sir_Roy

    Lol.

    I can’t believe the naivete. You’re all stating and affirming your knowledge that the Diaz vs. GSP fight will sell more PPV. Then, in the very next breath, you’re collectively silly enough to act shocked and offended that this is the fight GSP wants?

    Does that mean you’re all in the habit of turning down bigger paychecks or are ya’ll just being a tad hypocritical and self-righteous?

    Does it suck for Hendricks? Yes. Is it ‘fair’? No. Is it the better business move and bigger draw and therefore the more intelligent play? Hell yes. I’d rather the Diaz fight myself. Don’t want to watch GSP dismantle a Koscheck clone with slightly bigger knockout power (or better luck – whichever).

    I’d rather see him deal with Diaz’ superior striking and BJJ to be honest than deal with the possibility of a one hit KO.

    Let’s face it, this fight will end up on the ground; who would you rather watch defend against GSP’s top control, Diaz or Hendricks?

    Fans gripe about a five round, highly entertaining and highly technical war (Condit vs. GSP), and celebrate a 20 second first round KO (Hendricks vs. Kampmann) as though it’s the end all to be all of fighting entertainment.

    Go figure.

    • http://twitter.com/Uncanny390 Timothy Malone

      If it was about the bigger paycheck then we would have GSP fighting Anderson Silva right now

      • Sir_Roy

        On the surface, that comment is not a bad point. Dig deeper though. Because you’ll find that not fighting Anderson right now is most DEFINITELY about a bigger paycheck long term. GSP and his management are not short sighted. Anderson’s set to sign another 8-10 fight contract with the UFC. He is not going anywhere. In the meantime, GSP wants to cement his legacy in the welterweight division. That’s starts by defeating Hugh’s record, not just tying it. Getting another 8 million dollar paycheck en route is never a bad idea either.

        Anderson has the potential to end ones career. Look no further than Forest. So many of his opponents’ careers went downhill afterward. It’s feared that GSP’s PPV ratings would never recover from a decisive KO victory at the hands of Silva. Which, let’s face it, is a distinct possibility. He’d be dumb not to acknowledge that much.

        So yeah, a few more fights before opening the door to that super fight is a very smart business move.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pauly-Jozseffrd/100000777980075 Pauly Jozseffrd

      You said it perfectly!Finally someone who’s using his brain!Everyone is talking about Johnny Hendricks like the Anderson Silva of welter weight.Well GSP is going to do the same to him what Rick Story did!Johnny’s Cardio is not top if someone gets on him and pushing the tempo push him against the cage take him down then keeping him on the outside with leg kicks,High kicks and jabs he will go down!Koscheck played Hendricks’ fight and I think he won the fight I’mean it was close but Koscheck controlled the fight!Anyway the Diaz fight makes the most sense although I really believe that Diaz will NOT fight GSP,Mark my words and remember that you heard it from me first!!!No seriously Hendricks who I kind of liked before,Pisses me off going on one TV show after the other saying GSP is scared to fight him!LMAO.He just going to make ST Pierre more motivated if they’re going to fight!So Johnny”the Tobacco chewing redneck”Hendricks not really smart let’s just say he didn’t go to University coz his Academic Intelligence!Anyway thanx for your comment nice to see there are still true MMA fans out there not only these idiots!Well happy Holidays!!!

  • Avilan

    Gsp is scared of J.H,he knows hes one left hook away from being exposed as a talented fighter wth a glass jaw like andre arlovski!

    • Sir_Roy

      Folks said the same about Koscheck knocking GSP out. Georges stood all day long with Kos. Nothing. Nadda.

      Also, by that logic, if J.H knocks GSP out, then both Fitch & Kampmann also have ‘glass jaws’ right? Sure. Whatever.

      And lol at you comparing GSP to Arlovski.

    • Patman

      You’re serious? A guy with a glass jaw wouldn’t have gotten up from Carlos’s head kick. And not just got up but won the round!

  • Forerunner

    Really don’t understand the point of working up the ladder if every champion chooses his fights (Usually in regard to what would be the easiest for them) or because someone BS’s their way straight to the top of said ladder even if they are in another weight division.
    It should be #1 contender every time and if you haven’t earned that position then tough s**t.

    • TW

      The ladder still matters. Just because a guy doesn’t automatically get the next title shot doesn’t mean that he’s not going to. The UFC is a business and as such they obviously weigh other factors into their decision making process, but I don’t think we have ever seen a guy establish himself as the top contender and not get a title shot eventually. I don’t believe that a purely mathematical ranking system should be used to determine match-ups. There is more to it than that.

  • Brent

    I would say that most fans want to see both fights, but MORE fans want to see the GSP-Diaz fight. It’s win-win for the fans either way.

  • mma bigffan

    Sorry Dana but the UFC did pass over Johnny Hendricks. GSP called out an easier opponent and the UFC made the fight. The UFC could have easily told GSP that Nick Diaz doesn’t deserve the title shot because he lost to Carlos Condit. Then look how Johnny Hendricks beat John Fitch (former No. 1 contender), Martin Kampmann (recent No. 1 contender) and Josh Koshcheck (former No. 1 contender. GSP asked for the easier opponent and UFC gave it to him. That being said I like Nick Diaz. He is an exciting fighter and a very good fighter but he doesn’t deserve a title shot right now. Let him try FItch, Koscheck, Rory McDonald. He needs 2 or 3 wins against top 5 opponents to get a shot. The UFC has got to stop this BIG MOUTH GETS THE TITLE SHOT GARBAGE. For evidence……see Chael Sonnen!

  • mma bigffan

    Sorry Dana but the UFC did pass over Johnny Hendricks. GSP called out an easier opponent and the UFC made the fight. The UFC could have easily told GSP that Nick Diaz doesn’t deserve the title shot because he lost to Carlos Condit. Then look how Johnny Hendricks beat John Fitch (former No. 1 contender), Martin Kampmann (recent No. 1 contender) and Josh Koshcheck (former No. 1 contender. GSP asked for the easier opponent and UFC gave it to him. That being said I like Nick Diaz. He is an exciting fighter and a very good fighter but he doesn’t deserve a title shot right now. Let him try FItch, Koscheck, Rory McDonald. He needs 2 or 3 wins against top 5 opponents to get a shot. The UFC has got to stop this BIG MOUTH GETS THE TITLE SHOT GARBAGE. For evidence……see Chael Sonnen!

    • Sir_Roy

      I don’t disagree with everything you state, and definitely feel the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’…

      But look at it as another message this gives to all fighters (not just that the bigger mouth gets the title shot – there is another message here); Chael stepped up, willing to save a PPV on nearly no notice. He offered to fight Jones and made himself available. He is now being rewarded. At the same time, Dana is clearly saying to Jones “you didn’t want to fight Chael then, well, I’m forcing you into it now”. I think, as a business man, it’s an important message to pronounce. It gives fighters something to think about career wise when the UFC comes knocking on their door for help.

      “Scratch our back, we scratch yours.”

      And you know what? I think this fight could answer a very interesting question with regards Jones and his position atop the ladder.

      Elite wrestlers are dangerous five round decision makers. We’ve yet to see Jones fight one. Not a wrestler of Chael’s caliber. I’m looking forward to seeing just how good a wrestler Jone’s really is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Shakeshaft/100003573348840 Hugh Shakeshaft

    Odds are in: GSP 4.5 to 1 currently on 5th Round. Wonder who’s gonna win this one? Way to put up a competitive title fight Dana!