Johny Hendricks Refuses to Let MMA Politics Affect His Focus Heading into UFC 158

After knocking Martin Kampmann out cold at UFC 154 , Johny Hendricks (and many MMA fans), felt like he’d done enough to earn a shot at welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre.

However, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s brass had plans of their own, and Nick Diaz will be the one who faces GSP at UFC 158, while Hendricks (14-1-0, 8 KOs) is forced to settle for former interim welterweight champion, Carlos Condit (28-6-0, 13 KOs).

As if getting snubbed wasn’t bad enough, Johny now has to watch Diaz shirk his promotional duties leading up to his UFC 158 showdown against Georges, as the Stockton native has done everything from giving production crews a hard time to missing a March 13 open workout session.

Obviously, Hendricks isn’t impressed.

“I’ve done everything the UFC has ever asked of me,” Hendricks said during an interview with Ariel Helwani. “I try to do as much as I can for the fans. And to know that a guy [who] has done everything he could to mess it up is still in it sucks. It makes you think that ‘hey, maybe I should do that to get a title shot.'”

While Johny is still a bit frustrated with the way things went down, he refuses to let it affect his focus heading into his UFC 158 fight against Condit.

“I’ve watched this guy for many years… I know he’s a tough fighter,” Hendricks added. “I know he’s going to be a true test to my game and I can’t wait to see how I handle it.”

Condit has been St. Pierre’s toughest opponent ever since the Canadian recaptured the welterweight title from Matt Serra at UFC 83, so it’s hard to argue with Hendricks’ assessment that “The Natural Born Killer” will be his toughest adversary till date when they square up inside the Octagon.

Even though Hendricks hits a lot harder, Condit is arguably the better striker, given his larger arsenal of strikes, and his footwork might be enough to keep him away from Johny’s left hand. Carlos is also crafty off his back, making him a tough opponent for “Bigg Rigg” regardless of where the fight takes place. It’s one of those good matchups that will probably come down to who wants it the most.

It’s a tough spot for a fighter who has already earned a title shot to find himself, but Johny doesn’t mind working a bit harder that others have in the past to get to the same place.

“Yeah I’m taking a chance, but that’s what life is about,” Hendricks explained on ‘Countdown to UFC 158.’ “It seems like today, everybody wants to be given something. ‘Oh I deserve this. Oh I deserve that.’ No man, I wanna take it.”

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 8 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.


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