Johny Hendricks is not a happy man.
The too welterweight contender in performance terms, with three top-ten wins in twelve months, Hendricks has become a casualty of the PPV game. Nick Diaz is perceived as a bigger draw to fight Georges St-Pierre and so even though Diaz is coming off a loss and hasn’t fought in a year, that match is likely to headline a pay-per-view card in the new year.
Hendricks stopped Jon Fitch in December last year, then took a split-decision over Josh Koscheck in May before sparking Martin Kampmann in November. Diaz last fought in February, losing a decision to Carlos Condit and then getting suspended for marijuana use. His ban expires in February 2013.
“It feels like you get heart ripped out of you. You do everything right and then the champ calls someone out that hasn’t even fought in a year. It makes me mad that GSP would even consider something like that,” Hendricks fumed on Inside MMA this week.
“My main thing right now is to fight GSP, nothing else matters. I fought three of the toughest guys when this other guy hasn’t even fight and here I am getting over-passed for this guy. Its frustrating, you know what I mean? Words cannot explain how pissed I am.
“It seems like he doesn’t want to fight me. If you’re the champ you don’t go calling out anybody. We all earn our spots. I earned my spot to fight against GSP. Who knows, I might be able to beat him I might not, but don’t be afraid to step into the octagon with me. That’s what it looks like to me because there is no reason that Diaz should step over me right now.”
Hendricks has threatened to sit out and wait for St-Pierre to become available, or to wait for a title shot against whoever has the belt if St-Pierre should somehow contrive to lose it between now and then. But on Inside MMA he showed the first cracks in that position, grudgingly half-admitting that he might be contractually obligated to take another fight in the meantime.
“You know, that’s my managers job. If I have to have fight I leave that to my manager. Right now I feel like I have done everything I can to fight GSP which is why I am speaking out for myself to say I want to fight GSP. But if its not GSP, that’s my manager’s job and Joe Silva’s job to plan something.
“If I don’t get GSP all I want to know is when, where and who it is. I don’t like being in negotiations or anything like that, because I don’t care. I know I have to win and it doesn’t matter when or where, I gotta win.
“[I want to fight] whoever has the belt. If Condit had won I would be calling out for Condit. All I want is the belt, nothing else matters but the belt. It doesn’t matter the person or anything, just that shiny thing they put around the waist after they win, that’s all I want.”
“I don’t want to fight somebody coming off a loss. Just like the champ shouldn’t be fighting somebody coming off a loss. The guy he should be fighting is me, coming off a win… here I am, knocking people out and here he is asking for somebody else!
“Right now time [out] will only make me better. I had three months off and I feel like I got better not being in the Octagon, training for myself. Because sometimes you focus on fight to fight but you never get time to really focus on yourself and so I felt with that three months I was able to do so much, get so much better.
“I don’t want to sit out for a year, I shouldn’t have to sit out for a year. I should be fighting GSP in April or May, I don’t really care where. And if I have to sit out for a year its going to make it that much harder for GSP.”
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