Johny Hendricks: “I don’t want to take GSP down. I want to lay him out.”

Johny Hendricks: “I don’t want to take GSP down. I want to lay him out.”

UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks is a two-time national champion as a collegiate wrestler and four-time All-American. Of course, Hendricks isn’t exactly known for his takedowns and top control when it comes to the skills he frequently showcases inside the Octagon. Rather, “Bigg Rigg” has a reputation as one of the division’s most powerful pugilists, racking up eight knockouts in his fifteen wins including those over Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch.

Hendricks will look to continue the trend when he collides with champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167. The 29-year old spoke about the November 17 match-up this week on a leg of the 2013 UFC World Tour, telling MMAJunkie he’ll be approaching St-Pierre with the same mindset he brings into the Octagon against all opponents – total destruction.

“I don’t want to take GSP down. I want to lay him out. That’s all I want to do. That’s what the fans want to see, and I know I have the power in both hands to do it,” said Hendricks. “I will bite on my mouthpiece and eat a jab to land a right or a left hand on his jaw line. That’s the difference. Punch me in the face, I’ll punch you twice as hard.”

“When I’m in there, my goal is to break someone’s jaw. Let them forget who they are that night. Let them wake up the next morning and go, ‘What the hell happened?’ That’s my goal every fight,” he concluded.

St-Pierre has only been knocked out a single time in his career though he’s been wobbled in a few fights since. The reigning welterweight king holds an overall record of 24-2 with eleven wins in a row in comparison to Hendricks’ 15-1 mark with six straight victories.

9 COMMENTS
  • raker says:

    I like Hendricks but his power is going to his head. I don’t see the need to proclaim that you want to break someone’s jaw. That brings it from being a competition and returns to the days of being a blood sport. Koscheck, Alves, Hardy, Diaz and BJ all have good power and really couldn’t touch GSP who is the best at neutralizing his opponents strengths. Johny is going to find out the hard way that hitting GSP is easier said than done.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Anyone else get the feeling more and more with every interview he’s doing that he’s just blowing smoke now? I have a feeling that he’s going to hype this all up that he’s going to stand and bang, and really he’s going to try and take GSP down and use his wrestling.

    Not that I think that’ll matter because he’s not a better wrestler then GSP, but still I get the feeling its a smoke screen. Plus like raker said, GSP has fought other people that were just as heavy handed, and they didn’t do anything to him, so why is Hendricks special?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    Raker- I can agree with everything you’re saying, and let me follow that up by saying that I am a huge fan of GSP…But I got Hendricks winning this by KO/TKO. Johny is more explosive than any of the guys that you mentioned, and his leaping left hook covers a lot of ground very quickly. Even if GSP has his hands up to check the shot, Hendricks has enough power to wobble him.

    Honestly, I see this being a stand up fight since the wrestling will be neutralized. Georges will look to employ a stick and move strategy while Hendricks charges forward with power. johny can eat a lot of GSP’s shots, but I don’t think the opposite is true.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • SBERG says:

    He’s headlining a PPV… It’s about the sell. He’s taking somewhat of a role as the antagonist. I assume he’s getting a piece of the PPV pie ( Not as much as GSP but a piece nontheless) so if he runs his mouth a bit and it gets more buys then it’s more change in his pocket at the end of the day.
    Secondly, is he not supposed to want to knock the champs block off in the biggest fight of his life? I would. I like Hendricks, I respect the hell out of his collegiate career. And he stands a very good chance of beating GSP. Will it happen? I don’t know but if he does get through with a good left it very well might.
    I’m still going with GSP . Either way this one should be good….or at least I hope so…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • raker says:

    BBB – I dunno if Hendricks is more explosive than anyone else that GSP has faced. Alves was a destroyer when they fought and GSP even won the stand up battle. Alves had a better all around stand up game too with his Muai Thai. Hendricks left hand is no longer a secret weapon and that changes things.

    Alpha – I agree and think that Hendricks best bet would be to put Georges on his back. That’s something we don’t see often… GSP working from him guard.

    SBERG – I agree .. Has the potential to be an amazing fight. Also has the potential to be a snoozer ala GSP-Koscheck, MacDonald/Ellenberger.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hendricks is better than the other guys mentioned, with a superior combination of wrestling & striking.

    Koscheck is a great wrestler but his striking consists mostly of wild, looping punches. He gained confidence with it by beating some lower level fighters, but it wasn’t effective against the top guys. Hendricks has shown that if he touches your chin you’re probably going out, and he’s done it against top contenders. His win over Fitch might seem less impressive now given Fitch’s recent slide, but heading into that fight the only guy to beat Fitch in his previous 24 fights was GSP. In other words, I think Fitch was still Fitch when he entered the cage that night against Hendricks, but wasn’t the same after.

    Alves is a great striker but not on par with the wrestling. Alves landed some shots against GSP, but because he had no answer for GSP’s takedowns he spent the bulk of the fight on his back. Similar problem for Hardy & Diaz. And BJ Penn was never a huge threat at 170.

    The other thing working in Hendricks’ favor is the fact GSP is getting older. When GSP beat Serra to re-capture the belt he was the same age LeBron James is now. But now GSP is getting closer to Kobe Bryant territory… on the wrong side of 30, with knee injuries/surgery, and the accumulation of all the wear & tear on the body from years of hardcore training/competition. George is obviously still a tremendous athlete & great fighter, but it’s only natural that pro athletes start lose a step as they move beyond 30. And it can be subtle… losing a bit of explosion on the takedowns, losing a bit of quickness and/or reaction time on the feet, etc… at the highest level of competition that’s the difference between winning & losing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    Good points Richard, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t argue them.

    First, Fitch wasn’t Fitch that night. He’s gone on record plenty with how he shouldn’t have been anywhere near a cage that night. Frankly, I’m a lot more impressed with Burkman’s win over him than Hendricks.

    Hendricks also has great Collegiate wrestling but not the best MMA wrestling and that’s a huge distinction. This fact is often overlooked when people talk about how Hendricks is gonna be able to keep this fight standing. Kos and Pierce were able to use their wrestling to take Hendricks to Splits and Story was able to pull off the win with his, and none of them have as good MMA wrestling as the champ.

    Now GSP may be getting older, but the fact that he has dominated every fighter he steps in the cage with, is known for his dedication in taking care of his body, and is only two years older than Hendricks WITHOUT all the years of abuse from wrestling, makes me think that age isn’t such a factor in this one.

    It’s quite possible GSP wakes up in the middle of the ring with the ref asking if he’s OK, but I highly doubt it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    If they were like 7 to 8 years apart in age and Hendricks was where he is at 29 and GSP was 36 or so then maybe it would be a factor but with GSP at 32 and in his prime it’s not a factor in my eyes. GSP has more than proven he’s recovered fully from the knee injury and is in great shape. Both guys are coming in top form for this.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Gsp has way more weapons in his arsenal and I would love to see him lose to shake things up but id say hes the best p4p champ and will beat hendricks where ever the fight goes especially with andersons loss as motavation.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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