Typically when you hear about the training camp of a high-level Mixed Martial Artist the process is associated with a number of renowned trainers and comparable competitors to work out with. However, UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks prepared for his fight tomorrow night against Josh Koscheck at UFC on FOX 3 by mixing it up with a group of no-name amateurs.
Of course, they also happen to belong to one of the finest wrestling programs in the history of collegiate sports where Hendricks also excelled, Oklahoma State. The 28-year old has recently made it a point to spend time with his fellow Cowboys as a way of not only sharpening his technique but to also remind himself of where he’s come from.
“Once I got that loss, I started going back to Oklahoma State and I got that (fire) back,” said Hendricks in an interview with the UFC’s website. “It’s hard to mimic these 20-year olds looking at you and licking their chops because they know you’re 27, 28 years old, and they’re going through wrestling season and all you’re doing is fighting for a living.”
“Fighting’s easy compared to wrestling, and whenever I got back in there, you gotta get that toughness back, that want, and it’s very easy to lose,” he continued. “You think you still have it, but it slowly slips away until you get put back in that kind of situation. And then all of a sudden, man, it hits you, and you get fired up and the next thing you know, you get that anger and desire back that you lost. It’s pretty nice to have Oklahoma State only four hours away.”
The 12-1 Hendricks has won three straight since his lone stumble including two strike-based stoppages, adding credence to his statements. Interestingly enough, while more than half of his victories have involved a TKO, Hendricks has never entered a bout gunning for a knockout.
“The Lord has blessed me with some power, and one thing that I have noticed is that I don’t try to knock anybody out. I really don’t. All I’m trying to do is throw fast and about 80 percent. That’s all I need to throw,” admitted Hendricks. “I’m just trying to get it there as fast as I can. That’s it. Because the faster my hands go, the quicker I can see what I need to do. For some reason, time slows down and me and my opponent slow down when I’m in the Octagon, and whenever I do something, I can sorta see what’s coming.”
Koscheck has only been finished with strikes a single time in his career, falling to Paulo Thiago more than three years ago, while facing hard-hitters like Anthony Johnson and Paul Daley since. Tune in to see if Hendricks can deliver #2 on FOX when the broadcast fires up at 8:00 PM EST. Prelims will air through Fuel TV and Facebook in the hours leading up to the event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC