twitter google

Johny Hendricks: Good Lord Willing

No one would have really faulted Johny Hendricks if he had spent the last three months publicly bemoaning the UFC‘s decision to book welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre against Nick Diaz this weekend at UFC 158 in Montreal.In fact, a good number of people probably would have lined up behind Hendricks to shout supportive comments like “Yeah!” and “You tell ”Ëœem Johny!” as he made points illustrating why he ”“ and not Diaz ”“ should have been the one listed as “challenger” in Saturday‘s main event title fight.With five consecutive victories, including back-to-back wins over Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann, the 29-year-old southpaw from Ada, Oklahoma has done just about everything you could ask of a fighter when it comes to making an emphatic case for title contention.Hendricks ended 2011 by knocking out perennial contender Jon Fitch in just 12 seconds, and then earned a split decision win over Fitch‘s long-time friend and former AKA teammate Koscheck in May to push his winning streak to four. The night St-Pierre returned to defeat interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 154, Hendricks dropped Kampmann with the same powerful left hand that starched Fitch 11 months earlier.In spite of all of his recent success and the consensus public opinion being that the former two-time Division I National champion wrestler from Oklahoma State should be the next man to share the cage with the long-reigning welterweight champion, the UFC tabbed Diaz instead, ceding to St-Pierre‘s request for a meeting with the former Strikeforce titleholder.You can why a three-month tirade from Hendricks directed towards St-Pierre, Diaz, and the current championship situation would be understandable, maybe even justified.But that‘s just not who Johny Hendricks is, and he‘s not about to become that kind of guy either.“Good Lord willin‘, it happens,” says Hendricks sincerely in regards to getting the chance to fight for the UFC welterweight title. “It is what it is. You gotta sit there and say, ‘All right ”“ I haven‘t done this, I haven‘t done this; what‘s gonna get me to the next step? Do I have to call out somebody? Do I have to say certain things?‘ I took a step back, and I was like, ‘I‘m not gonna change who I am just to get”¦‘”He pauses, looking for the right words, mindful of saying the right thing ”“ or perhaps not saying the wrong thing. “If the fans want me to be a jerk, I‘m not going to. If they want me to talk trash and all these things, just so people will want to listen to me, I don‘t want to do that. I don‘t want to be that kind of fighter.“I always say that I‘ve got girls,” continues the proud father of two. “One day, if they watch my fights ”“ they see what kind of person I am, and I‘m sitting here trying to raise them a certain way, and in the video it shows a totally different person, they‘re gonna be like, ‘Why do I have to listen to you? Look at this video right here.‘ And that‘s a path I definitely don‘t want to cross, so I was just like, ‘All right ”“ I‘m gonna take a step back, calm down, and just keep moving forward.‘”He laughs, thinking of the day his daughters grow up and start to challenge the rules he and his wife Christina have laid out for them. The thought also puts his current professional situation into perspective as well.“Who cares if it‘s not that one,” he adds. “Good Lord willin‘ I can get my hand raised for this one, and then I can go.”For the second time in a row, Hendricks will compete in the penultimate fight of the evening with St-Pierre defending his title in the finale at the Bell Centre in Montreal. After needing just 46 seconds to stop Kampmann before the French-Canadian champion bested Condit at UFC 154, this time around it is Hendricks who will share the cage with “The Natural Born Killer,” though that wasn‘t the original plan.Initially, Condit was slated to rematch surging Canadian Rory MacDonald in the co-main event, with Jake Ellenberger tabbed to take on Hendricks in the middle fight of the weekend‘s five-fight Pay-Per-View main card.It wasn‘t exactly the course the heavily bearded contender known as “Bigg Rigg” wanted, but one he came to accept. Now that he‘s moved up one more place on the marquee, Hendricks is focused in on the positives, and using this weekend‘s meeting with Condit as another opportunity to make his case for a chance to fight for the welterweight title.“It was not until I got a fight,” Hendricks answers when asked how long he carried the frustration of being passed over in favor of Diaz. “I was like, ‘Well they got a fight; when am I gonna fight?‘ I‘d like to wait; that‘s what I was trying to do the whole time ”“ I was going to take a step back, and just wait.“Next thing you know they‘re like, ‘You‘ve gotta fight.‘ You can either be mad that you‘ve gotta fight or you can say, ‘Hey, that‘s one more paycheck. That‘s one more traini…

View the entire story here

Follow MMALinker