UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks is a win away from challenging for the divisional title and has no plans to come up short in such a crucial encounter. The 13-1 Hendricks will face Martin Kampmann at UFC 154 in November where, coincidentally, champion Georges St-Pierre will make his return to the ring after an extended layoff due to injury.
Still, while Hendricks is confident he can beat Kampmann, he’s also concerned bout the implications of St-Pierre successfully defending his belt against Carlos Condit based on a looming super-fight featuring GSP against middleweight king Anderson Silva.
“This will be my second fight knowing that I almost had that shot, and I’m definitely going to wait because at that point,” said Hendricks in an interview with MMAFightCorner when asked about his plans with a victory over Kampmann. “I will have beaten everybody in the top five, almost, except for one. And if Carlos Condit gets beat, then he gets knocked out of there.”
“Right now, the title shot is awesome, I plan on going out there and winning, but I don’t want to get too focused on that super-fight because that is something that could happen – very easily could happen,” continued Hendricks. “And then I heard that GSP said he wanted to wait 6 months so he could beef up. So, then it’s ok, I got 6 months to wait. So, it kind of puts us on hold again, in which, I don’t really think that’s going to happen, I hope not, at least.”
Hendricks feels he has come too far in his career to relinquish the right to a title-shot if it presents itself. Of course, if St-Pierre is shelved for the foreseeable future to prepare for Silva, the 28-year old Oklahoman is open to fighting for an interim strap like Condit did in February.
“I’m the little kid in Willie Wonka. I have my ticket and I’m going to make sure I do everything in my power to keep that ticket. If they did make an interim belt, of course I’d jump on that in a heartbeat,” admitted Hendricks, even teasing a potential showdown with Nick Diaz.
For now, however, Hendricks is simply focused on beating Kampmann in a few months and fulfilling his dream of fighting for UFC gold. Leading up to the match-up he has come out with his hand raised in a quartet of consecutive clashes including wins over Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC