Hendricks: I nearly died waiting for the decision

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Johny Hendricks was going into the fifth round, tied with two rounds each, with the world welterweight championship on the line. And he lost.

That was at November 16, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, vs. then UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

Saturday night Johny Hendricks was going into the fifth round, tied with two rounds each, with the world welterweight championship on the line. And this time he won.

At the post fight press conference, Hendricks talked about what was going through his mind during the fight, and after it, before the decision was announced.

“I looked at [my corner] and I said, it's two to two. I've gotta win this round,” said Hendricks as transcribed by MMAFighting. “I'm not dumb. I'm not going to be one of those naïve fighters who goes 'four to zero'. I'm true to myself. I knew I had to go out there and win that fifth round. My coaches, they told me what I needed to hear, put it that way.

“And I took it to heart. Leave everything out there. Five minutes can change the world.”

The Hendricks described the long wait between the final bell the announcement.

“I damn near died again,” said a laughing Hendricks said with a laugh. “I was sitting there like, man, not another GSP.

“Take nothing away from Robbie, he fought hard too. We were out there and I was looking like, man, please call my name. Please call my name. They did, and it hasn't really sunk in yet, if that makes sense. I know this thing is sitting in front of me, but that's the way it's always been for me. It'll take me a couple week before I look back and say, oh my God, I'm the UFC champ. I'll take it to heart and hopefully continue.”

“Realistically, I thought we were both going to knock each other out in the first or the second round. I didn't think we were going to go five. Definitely, as hard as he hit me in the third and fourth round, almost anybody else would've been out. For some reason I have a thick skull. He hit me with some hard shots and I knew I had to come back in the fifth round.

“That's where I lost it in the GSP fight and I told myself that it wouldn't happen again.”