UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks has a message for any fans out there who feel he’s a one trick pony limited to power-punching – keep watching. The 29-year old may have earned his reputation for rocking foes thanks to a number of notable wins where his striking sealed the deal, but he was also an All-American wrestler who won the collegiate national title in his division on two separate occasions. Add in the fact Hendricks has only fought fifteen times in his career and clearly there’s nowhere for him to go but up.
“I laugh when people say, ‘We’ve figured out your left hand.’ My boxing isn’t my strong point. It’s something I’ve only been doing for five years; I’ve only been striking for five years. I’ve done wrestling my whole entire life. So if anybody’s going to say anything, wrestling is my strong point,” explained Hendricks in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio, adding in, “I feel my jiu-jitsu is better than my hands.”
Considering Hendricks only has one submission in his career compared to eight strike-based stoppages, the assessment of his abilities might seem a bit strange. However, with more time to show off his skills the 14-1 contender expects to change the public’s perception of what he offers as a competitor.
“I can only get better,” said Hendricks. “I’m still developing as a fighter; I’ve only had 14 fights in my career. I think once I hit 20 fights that’s where I’m going to be at my peak.”
Hendricks is coming off a sub-minute knockout win over Martin Kampmann earlier this month, his fifth consecutive victory. He is expected to face welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in the coming months unless GSP opts to mix it up with middleweight title-holder Anderson Silva in a super-fight instead.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC