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Johny Hendricks: “I am going to push for this Condit fight. Nothing else matters at this point.”

There is only one other fighter other than UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre to have defeated both Jon Fitch and Josh KoscheckJohny Hendricks. With an outstanding 13-1 record the Team Takedown welterweight is riding a four-fight winning streak and poised to challenge for the welterweight title.

Unfortunately there’s a catch involved.

The problem that Hendricks is facing is very discouraging, not only to him, but to the fans and other welterweight contenders. With GSP on the shelf with a knee injury, the UFC made an interim title-bout between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz that took place at UFC 143 this past February. Condit walked away with a Unanimous Decision victory, but instead of defending the title he has chosen to sit on the sidelines and wait for St. Pierre to come back sometime later this year.

Two other top contenders met last Friday night when Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger faced off at the Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale. After surviving a near knockout in the first round, Kampmann rallied to win by TKO in the second round. With the triumph many thought that pairing up Hendricks and Kampmann was the natural thing to do with the winner facing the winner of Condit-GSP early in 2013. Not only would the UFC have two great, exciting fights on its hands, but it would offer two clear cut fighters to compete for the undisputed championship.

Things recently took a turn when, just a few days ago, Condit came out and said that if GSP isn’t ready to go by November he wants to fight Kampmann to avenge a 2009 loss that was also his last stumble. However, while its understandable that Condit would want to get the win back against Kampmann, that doesn’t sit well with Hendricks who is less than pleased with Condit’s statements.

“I was willing to wait for a title shot because Condit had said he was going to wait for GSP,” Hendricks explained in an interview this week with Five Ounces of Pain. “I don’t want to be on the shelf, but when I heard Condit call out Kampmann I figured if Condit isn’t going to wait, then I’m not willing to wait anymore either. The reason I was willing to wait is because you never know when you’ll get another shot at the title, but if he’s going to fight it should be against me. I want to fight for the belt – whether it’s the interim belt or the undisputed belt I want it.”

“I’m not taking anything away from Kampmann, but besides GSP, I’m the only guy who has beaten both Fitch and Koscheck,” Hendricks continued. “Those two have been at the top of the division for years. Condit’s a good fighter and there is nothing personal about this, but I want my shot at that belt. He’s done a few interviews and never mentioned my name. I don’t know if he wants to fight me, but what I do know is if I want to fight for the title I have to make it known. If he’s not going to mention my name then I have to be the one to do it.”

Hendricks has always been very quiet and content on letting his management team deal with Joe Silva and Dana White when it came to setting up his fights, but he has since come to grips with the fact he needs to get more involved in order to achieve his goals and realize his dreams.

“I realize that I can get better while I’m out, but I also know I can get better by fighting inside that Octagon,” explained Hendricks. “If I can beat Koscheck and Fitch then go out and defeat Condit I know I will be ready for whatever GSP throws at me. I don’t want to be pushed to the side anymore. I’m starting to draw the line. If I want to be at the top I have to be more vocal and the more vocal I am the better chance I have of getting what I want. I’m at a crossroads right now and I have to stand alone. After hearing what Condit said I was so mad because I don’t understand why he’s calling anyone out – it should be the other way around.”

“If I had the belt I’d want someone to call me out,” the 28-year old elaborated. “That would make me want to fight this guy because he wants this belt that I have and he wants to put on a show. That’s the way I am looking at things. I want this title. I want to bring it home. I’ve got a great resume and have beaten a lot of top guys. I am going to push for this Condit fight. Nothing else matters at this point. I have my mind set on fighting Condit in the next couple of months.”

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

19 COMMENTS
  • Richard Stabone says:

    Unless GSP suffers a setback, which appears less & less likely with each passing day, then this is all noise.

    If Condit ends up having to fight someone else before GSP, that will be a bad thing. It would mean the *real* belt not being defended for 2+ years, with a longer & longer layoff for GSP.

    So the ideal scenario has GSP returning in November to fight Condit, with Kampmann & Hendricks squaring off later this year as well in a #1 contender fight.

    But should something happen to GSP, it will leave things pretty jammed up between Hendricks & Kampmann as to who would take on Condit. So I don’t blame Hendricks for speaking up, to start jockeying for position in that hypothetical scenario. But again, hopefully this is all just noise.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    GSP

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    No way Kampmann should be ahead of Hendrix, If Condit really wants to fight then it has to be Hendrix, but I think he waits it out ( remember how that went for Rashad?) The same night as Condit vs GSP should see Hendrix vs Kampmann for the # 1 spot.

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  • MCM says:

    I don’t see why Condit couldn’t defend the belt at the beginning of August and the winner fight GSP at the end of Nov or start of Dec? Condit’s had nearly 5 months off already, defend the belt or have Hendricks/Kampmann fight and then the winner of those two take on GSP at the end of the year. This waiting BS is really f-ing up the whole division. Maybe superdave is right, strip GSP and get these boys to fight’n.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Condit might have been given a piece of hardware, but he’s no champion yet. Just a contender.

    You’re not a champion until you defend your title. So, Condit is minimum two wins away from me considering him a champion.

    Holding up the whole division was BS. I don’t dispute he won the fight with Diaz, but I will argue that sitting on the shelf when you’re a so-called interm champ is bullshit.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    The interim belt was a silly idea all along. Its main purpose was to drum up a little extra hype and boost the PPV figures. As such, I don’t think that silly fake belt should have any bearing on how/when future matchups are made.

    What should matter is the real belt, and in that regard I don’t understand what is being held up at this point. Condit fought 4 months ago. Hendricks fought a month ago. Kampmann/Ellenberger fought a week ago. For my money, those are the guys who round out the top 5 after GSP. In other words, we’re not quite halfway into 2012 and all of the top WW contenders have fought.

    Obviously the one thing being held up is the real belt being defended, which belongs to the guy who inarguably owns the weight class. Stripping GSP of the belt to create a fake belt would not provide any type of meaningful solution, in my mind at least. If that were to happen, it would almost be like a unification bout to unify multiple fake belts. Word.

    The only real way to get things flowing again in the WW division is for GSP to fight…ASAP. And that seems to be November. So for Condit, that will have meant an extra few months off. Not. A. Big. Deal.

    Where things get screwed up is if GSP experiences a setback. Should that happen, I would be all for Condit taking another fight, and he’s gone on record to say he intends to. We’re all frustrated that GSP has been out for over a year, and therefore kept the real belt on the shelf, but I think some of the resulting complaints are lacking in logic and wouldn’t improve the state of the WW division in any meaningful way.

    The LW division is the one actually being jacked up by the waiting game. Diaz should be fighting Showtime for a #1 contender spot.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    I don’t see why Condit couldn’t defend the belt at the beginning of August and the winner fight GSP at the end of Nov or start of Dec?

    I see a couple problems with this…

    1) If Condit were to fight at the beginning of August, does he fight Hendricks or Kampmann? And whoever is the odd man out, who does that guy fight next?

    2) Once the August fight happens, planning the next fight based on a 3-4 month turnaround for the winner to fight GSP seems like a pretty dicey proposition. There’s a pretty decent chance that aggressive timing wouldn’t work. So then you’re looking at SB weekend 2013, which just pushes GSP’s return back further & further.

    Again, the big thing holding up the division is GSP’s return so the real belt can be back in the mix. Anything that potentially delays that seems counterproductive.

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  • I agree Rich but to be a champion you have to keep defending your title. Sadly Georges is unable to do so for an unarguably ridiculous amount of time. Take his belt and let him challenge for it immediately upon return. He IS that good and never having lost deserves it but the sports health takes priority over being fair to gsp. Holding up a division thats been one of the premier divisions since forever shouldn’t happen. Plus it opens up another great storyline to sell gsps fights.

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  • JBAR says:

    I thought the whole point of an interim belt was so there would continue to be title fights if the champ was out for an extended time. That being said, the holder of the interim belt should not have the option to wait for an extended time for the fight of his choice as it would defeat the purpose of the belt.
    I think Condit should have had another fight given the timeframe for GSP’s return but at this point it makes sense to wait. However if GSP’s return is delayed in the least little bit I say Hendricks has a valid point and would not mind seeing him and Condit hook up.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Thats the idea of the interim belt yes, but I don’t think its ever worked that way.

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    If he presses the issue condit will look weak not taking a fight especially if he waits and gso beats him.im all for hendricks and condit after jake and kampman I think hendricks would ko kampman.

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  • MCM says:

    “That being said, the holder of the interim belt should not have the option to wait for an extended time for the fight of his choice as it would defeat the purpose of the belt.”

    That’s exactly correct. GSP was out 10 months when Diaz/Condit fought for the interim belt. Now Condit get’s to wait for another 9 months in the hopes that the belts can be unified?
    I didn’t agree with superdave before, but I honestly think GSP should be stripped of his belt. If it all goes according to plan, the next title defense will not happen for another 5 months, GSP will not have defended His belt in 19 months. If one little thing goes wrong, you talking about almost 2 years before the belt gets defended properly. That’s some SF-Overeem bullshit.
    Strip GSP now. He doesn’t even consider himself the WW champ anyway. Make Condit fight in Aug. Hendricks or Kampmann I don’t care, they both have a strong case. If and When GSP comes back, give him his rightful title shot.
    Striping GSP and forcing Condit to fight (not sit on the belt for another 5 months) is what is gonna keep this division moving.

    That or make Kampmann/Hendricks and strip Condit as both Martin and Johnny will have a stronger case than Carlos for being the true #1 contender.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • AlphaOmega says:

    “He doesn’t even consider himself the WW champ anyway”

    This, in GSP’s eyes he lost the belt, which is why I think he’s going to come in determined and a monster, just look at the last time he lost the belt. But also if he doesn’t consider himself as the champ then why not have the interim belt become the real belt and make condit fight.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Cole Konrad still holds the title of longest time between winning a belt and defending it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    I think Overeem still has him beat by a couple months. But GSP is getting up there ;).

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  • Bryan Levick says:

    Cole Konrad!!! Bellator shouldn’t even have a HW division!!! GSP is champion, but even he realizes that the title needs to be defended and he would have no problem having to win his title back because he wants what is best for the sport. Condit as much as I like him and watching him fight is clearly wrong here and the UFC is just as guilty.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Yeah I am not trying to knock Cole. I am sure he’d like to fight more.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    OK, beating a dead horse at this point but here goes…

    Yes, the GSP injury (and subsequent layoff) has sucked bavarian moosecock. It’s prevented the WW title from being defended. That sucks, period.

    But creating fake belts does nothing, in my mind, to improve the situation. Not in any sort of meaningful way.

    Yeah, if it was a wide open division like HW, then I could buy it. But we’re talking about the 7-time defending champion who is arguably the best p4p fighter on the planet. Trying to manipulate this unfortunate situation by stripping one of the top few fighters in the history of the sport and/or creating fake title fights is an exercise in futility, as far as I’m concerned.

    Here’s the deal: all of the top WW contenders will end up fighting multiple times during 2012, with the obvious exception of GSP (due to devastating injury) and Diaz if you want to include him in that group (due to…well, whatever excuse anyone wants to slap on it). The guy who are able & professionally willing to fight are getting in the octagon multiple times during the year. Nothing is being held up in the WW division other than the title belt because, again, the guy who completely owns the weight class is on the sidelines dealing with an injury. What would fake belts really improve?

    But OK, let’s deal with hypotheticals…

    So after Condit defeated Diaz, he could have taken another fight to appease the fans. The obvious matchup would have been Ellenberger, who just got KO’d. Condit-Ellenberger 2 would have been a nice fight and fun rematch from the first closely contested bout, but given how things have played out with Jake being KO’d by Kampmann, it’s tough for me to feel like we got cheated with that fight not happening.

    Honest question: who else, besides Jake, would have been a reasonable fight for Condit to take right about now?

    OK, so since that fight didn’t happen, now we’re still hearing bitching about Condit taking on either Kampmann or Hendricks. Let’s say it happens… the earliest it could realistically take place is August. So the next questions are…

    1) Who gets the Condit fight – Kampmann or Hendricks?

    2) For the odd man out, who does he fight next? And even if he picks up a win, now how far away is his potential title shot (after the Condit-Hendricks/Kampmann fight, followed by the GSP fight vs. the winner)?

    And with that hypothetical fight taking place in August, what are the odds of the winner being ready to turn around and face GSP before the end of 2012? Maybe 50/50? Or in other words, we’re so damn anxious for these other fights that it’s worth the risk of GSP’s return to the cage being pushed back even further? Hmmm, not for me.

    Anyway, this whole this is beyond silly at this point for me. Condit has won 5 consecutive fights and decided to wait 3 extra months beyond the usual ~6 month layoff in order to get his crack at GSP.

    For those who continue to bitch & moan about this, might as well get an early start complaininig about Nate Diaz sitting on the sidelines cuz he’ll be lucky if he’s back in action within the 9-month span we’re talking about with Condit.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Wait, I just thought of something…

    GSP fights Condit in November, and Kampmann-Hendricks fight on the same card as co-headliners. Then maybe, like, the winners of those bouts could face each other. OMG OMG!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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