Hendricks: He's paid to fight and he's paid to fight me.
Despite a five fight win streak against some of the best the welterweight division has to offer, Johny Hendricks will step into the octagon March 16th at UFC 158 and stand across from a man not named Georges St. Pierre, a fact he has known for months now and one that still gets under his skin.
Instead he will take on another formidable opponent in Jake Ellenberger, while while GSP will of course battle with longtime rival Nick Diaz, a man the champ says deserved the fight more than "Big Rig", because in his eyes Josh Koscheck had beaten Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3.
The champ's logic however did not sit well with Oklahoma native, who in return had some knowledge of his own to drop on MMAMania's Podcast:
"My reaction was like, 'Really?! You're an idiot.' He said that Condit really did beat Nick Diaz, know what I'm saying? He said, 'I'm fighting the true number one contender Carlos Condit,' and now, he's going backtracking and saying, 'Well, I think [Hendricks] lost.' Who cares? You don't get to decide. He's not a judge. He's not a judge. He's a fighter. He's paid to fight and he's paid to fight me. The fact that he was able to ask and get this request [to fight Diaz], the only thing this is, is it gives me more drive. It's not like I didn't have enough but what's gonna happen is, whenever I look across the cage, he's not going to see fear. He's not gonna see anything. All I want to do is I want to fight him. I want to look across and see GSP and that might be something he's not used to. I don't know. I don't know why he didn't take the fight but I guess I wouldn't want to fight me as well."
It's been widely known and discussed that Hendricks is perhaps the most deserving fighter in the UFC to not be in line for a title shot, having defeated men ranked in the top 5 of the welterweight division at the time of their bouts, with those men being Jon Fitch, Koscheck, and Martin Kampmann.
From a promoter's perspective it's easy to say Diaz should get the fight because of the draw his name brings, especially if you take into account his rivalry with GSP. However from a sporting perspective, there is no doubt that Hendricks has earned his spot. Put it this way, look at the NFL. Could you imagine Roger Goodell forgoing a Ravens-49ers Superbowl, instead oping for the Patriots to take the AFC spot, because Tom Brady was a bigger draw than Joe Flacco.
In combat sports, the line between sport and spectacle has always been ambiguous, which doesn't always indicate a flawed product because as we have seen from fights like Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia, amazing things can happen. But when you have a chance to book a deserving and exciting KO artist against one of the sport's best of all time, you do it.
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