In the whole welterweight/middleweight title/super-fight mess of excitment and speculation going on right now, number one 170 pound contender Johny Hendricks is one of the few people giving real talk. “I’m not going to fight unless it’s for a belt,” Hendricks told MMAJunkie Radio Friday.
The former NCAA Division I wrestling national champion solidified himself as the number one contender to Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight crown with five straight wins, his last three against Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann. Despite earning his shot, Hendricks is far from a lock to be the next one to fight St. Pierre.
Middleweight champion Anderson Silva is chasing a super fight with the Canadian and St. Pierre surrogates are lobbying for his next fight to be against his rival Nick Diaz. Diaz is currently serving a suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites before his last fight, a loss to Carlos Condit.
“I really want a belt. They don’t come around that often, and I feel like I’ve done enough to earn a shot, and that’s pretty much all I’m thinking of right now. I’m training for a five-round fight, and that’s it,” Hendricks continued.
For all the wrestler turned KO artist cares, St. Pierre, Silva and Diaz can do whatever they want with one another, but after they are done he will make sure that he is waiting in the wings for whomever is welterweight champion. “Nothing else matters but the belt,” he believes.,
“My last three fights were guys in the top five, and I finished two of those three fights. I stated my claim. My stock’s really high right now, and the only thing left is to get a shot at that belt.”
What do you think, nation? Is Hendricks right to sit out until he gets his shot at St. Pierre? And what do you think the chances are Diaz will skip ahead in line now that we have the Chael Sonnen modern precedent of getting title shots immediately after losses?
- Elias Cepeda