The welterweight division was put on notice last night at UFC 141 when 12-1 Johny Hendricks blasted Jon Fitch with a stiff left and sent the former title-contender spilling backwards to the mat. Hendricks quickly pounced on his fallen prey and pounded out the victory, finishing Fitch for the first time in the UFC despite the American Kickboxing Academy staple having faced some of the top 170ers in MMA.
The 28-year old reflected on his remarkable victory at the post-event press conference where he hoped his success might even be enough to sneak into a shot at the winner of Carlos Condit-Nick Diaz.
“I just beat the #2 ranked guy. GSP couldn’t do it in five rounds. B.J. Penn couldn’t do it…love the guy the death…he couldn’t do it,” said Hendricks while referring to Fitch’s previous fights with Penn and current champion Georges St. Pierre. “I just knocked the #2 guy out in twelve seconds. Where does that put me? Hopefully for a (title-shot)…but if it doesn’t, I’m gonna just have to go out there and prove it again.”
The UFC President shared Hendricks’ enthusiasm and insinuated the former NCAA wrestling king was at least in the mix.
“Holy sh*t,” White exclaimed about the win. “It was a quick fight. The thing about Hendricks is he’s got great wrestling…world-class wrestling…and he hits hard. He’s a tough guy to fight. It was a big, big night for Johny Hendricks.”
“It puts him right in there,” White concluded.
Hendricks has now won his past three fights and is 9-1 under the Zuffa banner. His only defeat came in a decision to Rick Story at the Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.
Check out the entire press conference below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC