UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks has emerged as a title-contender over the past few years with an 8-1 record in the Octagon. He will enter the infamous eight-sided cage this weekend at UFC 154 to face Martin Kampmann with the momentum of a four-fight winning streak behind him and should logically cement status as the division’s top threat if successful in the scrap.
However, UFC President Dana White has been non-committal about confirming whether or not Hendricks will earn a shot at the belt if victorious against the always game Kampmann. Though his boss’ support would certainly be nice, according to Hendricks, he’s not focusing on decisions made above his paygrade.
“The only thing I can do is go out there and win. It doesn’t matter how or with what. Just get the W, and then we can start working for something else,” said the bearded brawler in an interview with MMAJunkie. “The way I look at it, to sit there and worry about all that stuff, you start putting more pressure on yourself.”
“It’s out of my control. The only thing I can control is how I fight that night. Then I can start making my case for other stuff,” he concluded.
Hendricks was also quick to brush off any concern about Kampmann having insight into his strengths/weaknesses based on time the two spent training together in the past. As he sees it, both of them have evolved since then with his growth being vast by comparison.
“The fighter he’s going to face now is probably a hundred times better than the one three-and-a-half years ago. I can’t wait to show him how I’ve progressed,” the eager Hendricks replied when asked about the matter.
The 13-1 Hendricks is coming off consecutive wins over Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, while Kampmann has racked up a trio of triumphs against the likes of Rick Story, Thiago Alves, and Jake Ellenberger. Their bout will serve as the co-headliner at UFC 154 with returning fan-favorite Georges St-Pierre putting his welterweight gold up for grabs against interim title-holder Carlos Condit.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC