UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks recently spoke with Heidi Fang for MMAFightCorner for a wide-ranging interview. There is a widely held standard in mixed martial arts that a belt is not yours until you have defended it. However, Hendricks lost a controversial decision to then UFC champ George St-Pierre, and then beat Robbie Lawler for the title that GSP vacated, feels he has already done that.
"There's a sense of me that I sort of felt like Robbie Lawler was my title defense because of the Georges St-Pierre fight," said Hendricks as transcribed by David St. Martin. "That's the way I'm looking at it. It's not technically my title defense but I've got the same mindset."
"Don't get me wrong, I'll throw with whoever's the No. 1 contender. I'll fight them. I'm not going to run away from that, but there's a part of me that wants to see how I can do against Robbie Lawler, healthy. Then again, there's the part of me that wants to sort of train for Matt Brown or Rory MacDonald or whoever else is out there."
"I think I have faced [MacDonald]. It was GSP. It is GSP. The only difference is he has been able to control people a little bit differently than GSP has. He uses his jab by doing that. If you watch the GSP fights, really good strikers, really explosive guys, they try to use that jab to do that. What they don't understand is that they're not going to hit me with that jab. They're not going to keep me at bay with that jab."
"I've heard that GSP's been watching my fights. Re-watching stuff because he's going to have to put himself in more danger to hurt me, to mess up my game. That puts him in trouble. He's been able to get away with so much because he's been able to out-wrestle people. He can't out-wrestle me. He can't out-strength me. No matter how much weight he puts on. I think he's at 201 pounds right now. They said he's beefing up because he felt weak against me. He's going to feel weak, even if he's at 201. If Rory MacDonald wants to get in there I'll fight him, too."