White calls Hendricks #1 contender, Hendricks desperate for title shot
The idea came to Johny Hendricks in a dream – a lunging right hook followed by a straight left to the chin. He had never thrown it before in a fight, but he did Saturday night, landing it on former training partner Martin Kampmann. At just :46 seconds of the first round Kampmann was out, and Hendricks had won his second straight bout that had been billed as a title eliminator.
“I’m a wrestler and can knock people out,” exclaimed the two-time national champion at Oklahoma State. “That’s pretty sweet, huh?”
Hendricks has now won five in a row, including three knockouts in under three minutes total time.
He will tell you over and over, all he wants a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Hendricks’ voice nearly cracked as he repeated “please” four times in his request for a title bout against GSP.
“I’ve cleared out the division now and there’s only one more guy I want to fight and he’s at the top,” said Hendrick. “I want a shot at that title. Nothing else matters in the world.”
However, with the UFC hoping it’s on the verge of booking a long-proposed mega-fight between St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, Hendricks appears as nothing more than a backup plan.
“Of course, I don’t like it,” Hendricks said of Silva vs. St Pierre. “But what can I do? I can go out there and finish fights. That’s all I can do. I made my case. He was a tough fighter. I knew he was going to be. I finished him. Hopefully all that’s left is Georges St. Pierre.”
In a further wrinkle, St. Pierre wasn’t sold on fighting Silva after UFC 154. He made it clear that he would rather stay in the 170-pound division and brought up Hendricks’ name on his own.
“Johny Hendricks looked very impressive tonight,” St. Pierre said.
While UFC President Dana White would like to make the GSP vs. Anderson Silva superfight, he offered high praise for Hendricks at the UFC 154 post fight press conference.
“He looked damn good,” said White. “It was a replica of the Jon Fitch fight. He even landed it in the same spot.
“It was impressive, so I would say yes, he is [the 170-pound top contender].”
White went on to explain the reasoning behind the superfight.
“There are a lot of guys in line right for title shots at 170 and 185,” said White. “But, we’re trying to make this super fight happen so we’ll see how it goes.”
“I agree (the middleweight and welterweight divisions are stacked right now). It’s the number one pound-for-pound best fighter in the world against the number two pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. It’s a big fight, we think people want to see it and we think the guys want to do it. So, we’ll do it. Who knows, maybe we go into this thing and Georges St. Pierre says absolutely not.
“But I just don’t see that happening.”