Johny Hendricks has only ever lost one fight in his professional career, a decision loss to Rick Story nearly two and a half years ago.
Since that fight, Hendricks has been the epitome of a one-man wrecking machine. He’s won five consecutive fights with four of the five being Top 10 fighters: Mike Pierce, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Martin Kampmann.
If those aren’t No. 1 contender credentials, what are?
How about adding perennial UFC welterweight title contender Carlos Condit to the hit list? Would that put any doubts to rest?
It certainly should, but most people already do consider Hendricks the No. 1 contender to Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight strap. It happens to be that the one man contesting Hendricks’ worthiness is GSP himself; one of the few men that also has some power to derail his title shot.
So what does he aim to do about it? He aims to change St-Pierre’s mind, and short of that, he aims to position himself such that UFC officials can’t deny him his shot unless St-Pierre finally agrees to take a superfight with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Hendricks next faces Carlos Condit – who is one fight removed from losing his challenge of St-Pierre – at UFC 158 on March 16 in Montreal. That is the same fight card that St-Pierre headlines against Nick Diaz, a fight that the champ specifically requested instead of facing Hendricks.
Hendricks had initially agreed to fight Jake Ellenberger on the card with Condit facing Rory MacDonald. When MacDonald fell out due to injury, Hendricks seized the opportunity for what he sees as a much more dangerous fight, and one that would pay a much bigger reward if he is successful.
“My coaches found out that Rory MacDonald got hurt and they jumped all over it,” Hendricks recounted. “It’s a big fight; it’s a good fight. He’s coming right off a title shot, a title run, all that kind of stuff.
“Carlos Condit is the tougher fight and what I’m trying to do is… if I do fight Condit and I win then there’s nobody else in the division that get’s the title shot.”
St-Pierre has pointed to Hendricks’ split decision victory over Josh Koscheck as one of the prime reasons he wanted to instead fight Diaz. St-Pierre said that he believes Koscheck was the real winner of that fight, and thus, Hendricks doesn’t yet deserve a shot.
Hendricks doesn’t necessarily buy that. Perhaps his patented left-hand knockouts of Fitch and Kampmann had something to do with GSP not wanting the fight.
Either way, Hendricks doesn’t take kindly to St-Pierre denying him.
“He said the only reason why I’m not the No. 1 contender in his eyes is because he thought I lost to Josh Koscheck. And so that’s his claim, right? That’s it,” said Hendricks.
“Who is he to be my judge? Who is he to keep me from something that I’ve earned. So that being said, that doesn’t make any sense. I think that it might be that he’s worried about my power and my wrestling abilities.”
Regardless of why Georges St-Pierre has denied Johny Hendricks, Hendricks isn’t about to site idly by and let his future slip away. He intends to take the toughest fights there are – in this case, Carlos Condit – and keep winning until St-Pierre has no choice but to step up to the plate and give him a shot at the belt.
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