UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz features the who’s who of the 170-pound division. Georges St-Pierre faces Nick Diaz in the main event for the welterweight title, but the highest ranked welterweight on the card not named St-Pierre is Johny Hendricks.
Hendricks was originally scheduled to take on Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158, but an injury to Carlos Condit’s opponent, Rory McDonald, shook up the card.
Hendricks was removed from the bout with Ellenberger and placed against Condit, while Ellenberger got a new opponent in Nate Marquardt.
Hendricks spoke about the change of opponent on a recent UFC 158 media conference call.
“You got to constantly be adaptable, meaning that, of course I wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre, but he chose somebody else; fine, cool. I had Jake Ellenberger. I trained very hard for him then I was able to get Carlos Condit, an excellent fighter, that’s what it’s all about,” said Hendricks.
“You take it fight by fight, day by day. That’s how I live it. That’s how I train. Nothing else matters but Carlos Condit at this point. If I even think about overlooking him, he’ll definitely beat me. So I got to go out there and nothing else matters but Carlos Condit,” he said.
On the same media conference call, Nick Diaz commented that “nobody wants to see” a “wrestling match” between Hendricks and St-Pierre. Hendricks said Diaz’ comments didn’t bother him.
“No it doesn’t because if he’s watching my fights, when have I ever took anybody down? You know what I mean? I have wrestling, yes, I do; my background is wrestling. I have knockout power. Just because I don’t go out there and use it all, you don’t have to use it all to win fights,” said Hendricks. “He has his opinion and I’ve got mine; it doesn’t matter.”
Hendricks is on a five-fight win streak, including knocking out Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch in a matter of seconds in the first rounds of their fights. But winning is what is most important to Hendricks.
“The most important thing is to win fights. It doesn’t matter how you do it. If that means you got to take that end to get a win like Georges does, then do it. It’s about getting your hand raised and the fans like that. So it is what it is,” said the welterweight contender.
“The only thing that matters is like Georges said is everybody’s got to be on top, but there can only be one and we’re all fighting to get there.”
UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz takes place on March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.