Johny Hendricks looks set to finally earn the UFC welterweight title shot he has been waiting for.
They say good things come to those who wait, and you would not find a more patient mixed martial artist than Johny Hendricks.
After winning his fifth straight fight in the UFC, Hendricks has finally been given the golden ticket he has been craving with UFC president Dana White confirming “Big Rigg” is the undisputed number one contender for Georges St-Pierre’s title.
The hierarchy of the welterweight division took further shape at UFC 158 in Canada, with Hendricks claiming a unanimous points decision over Carlos Condit.
Despite nursing a broken hand, which he later revealed he sustained early in the first round, Hendricks could not wipe the smile off his face when asked about next facing the man known as GSP.
“It feels so great, I can’t wait to get home and start training again that’s pretty much all I can think about at the moment, take Monday off hopefully and start training Tuesday,” Hendricks said.
“There’s always ways to work around these things (injuries).”
The knockout artist Hendricks admitted the injury did stifle his ability mix up his game plan to gain takedowns, but added he knew he would have to fight both on and off his feet against as well-rounded an opponent as Condit.
In what proved to be the Fight of the Night, Condit felt the power of Hendricks early and cleverly used his range to gain a reprieve from the onslaught.
The collegiate wrestling background of Hendricks came to the fore and he managed to keep Condit on his back for much of the first two rounds.
However, Condit sent anxiety levels in the Hendricks camp through the roof when he was able to get his opponent’s back and looked to attempt a kimura.
Hendricks showcased his strong jaw in the second round when he weathered a flying knee from Condit and kept pushing forward, but the unrelenting pace began to take its toll on Hendricks as his energy levels faded coming into the final round.
The fresher Condit pushed the pace with kicks and knees and attempted to win the final round by brawling, but it was to no avail with the judges giving Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) the fight 29-28 across the board.
Condit has now lost to Georges St-Pierre and Hendricks in his last two fights and said he has to go back to the drawing board if he is to be again be considered the top welterweight contender for the title.
“I think it’s pretty clear what I have do, I have to go away and work on my wrestling, both fights I put on a show and left it all out there but I came up short, so I have to go away and reevaluate and keep working,” Condit said.