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, heâ€™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.
â€œThis will be my second fight knowing that I almost had that shot, and I’m definitely going to wait because at that point,â€ said Hendricks in an interview with MMAFightCorner when asked about his plans with a victory over Kampmann. â€œI 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.â€
â€œRight 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,â€ continued Hendricks. â€œAnd 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.â€
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.
â€œI’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,â€ 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