Over the past few years UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks has emerged as one of the company’s rising stars. The 29-year old blends high-level wrestling with knockout power better than most, opting to attack with the latter rather than rely on his grappling to eke out decision wins. He’s also extremely humble, has a great sense of humor, and works his tail off in the gym.
Hendricks has also matched his potential with production, racking up a 13-1 overall record including wins in his last four fights. His next bout is scheduled to take place in November where he’ll mix it up with Martin Kampmann in an attempt to solidify his claim on the division’s top contendership slot.
Still, with all his success and the spotlight on him growing ever brighter, Hendricks still isn’t content with what he’s accomplished in the sport.
“I’m ecstatic to be where I’m at in my career but I’m not satisfied. Nobody cares who you are until you get that belt,” admitted Hendricks in an interview with Bleacher Report.
In Kampmann he will also be facing a legitimate threat to the welterweight throne, though the Dane’s dangerous skill-set actually appeals to Hendricks rather than causes any level of stress.
“Nothing excites me more than knowing the guy I’m facing is coming out there to fight. That is absolutely Kampmann’s mind set,” said Hendricks. “He’s a tough opponent. I know the guy so I’m pretty excited to see how I do against someone I know and have trained with. That’s thrilling to me. For some reason I’ve always wanted to fight someone I know and see how I overcome those challenges.”
Though never longtime teammates, Hendricks and Kampmann linked up when the bearded brawler was first starting out in the sport and spent some time at Xtreme Couture (where Kampmann still trains). Regardless, Hendricks won’t be taking his foot off the gas pedal at any point based on past relationship or even increased confidence after landing some solid shots.
“In the past, Kampmann’s opponents have overlooked him when he gets into the Octagon. They do very well against him in the first round, but the first round doesn’t mean anything,” explained Hendricks, making it clear he wouldn’t fall into the same trap. “You see it time and time again. He gets beat up a bit in the first round and his opponent will get over-confident. Next thing you know, Kampmann is getting his hand raised. That’s one thing he does very well.”
Kampmann-Hendricks is scheduled to serve as the co-headliner at UFC 154. The card is set for November 17 in Montreal and features a welterweight title-fight between Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit in the main event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC