• UFC 154

Hendricks will wait for title shot rather than fight again

Ben Blackmore November 15, 2012

Johny Hendricks is prepared to sit and wait for a title shot against the winner of Georges St-Pierre v Carlos Condit after he beats Martin Kampmann at UFC 154 this weekend.

Hendricks enters this weekend's co-main event off the back of victories over Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch - two of the welterweight division's long-time contenders. A win over Kampmann would just add to his momentum.

However, should Hendricks win on Saturday he faces the prospect of the champion, St-Pierre, stalling the division by fighting Anderson Silva, if St-Pierre gets past Condit.

It would be expected - in that scenario - that a triumphant Hendricks would be forced to fight another contender, potentially in the shape of Nick Diaz. But he insists he would prefer to wait for his title shot with GSP, believing he will have done enough to earn his crack.

"I guess I'm paid to [understand the GSP v Silva fight], but I don't," Hendricks told ESPN. "The UFC have their own agenda, but I'm not going to fight anyone unless it's for a title.

"When you get to the top, so often people take another fight for the money and they lose and it ruins their title intentions.

"I know I've done everything to get there, I've got to win on Saturday, and then after that it's time to wait."

Hendricks heads into the Kampmann battle knowing he has great knockout power in both hands, something that was highlighted during a trip to London a couple of years ago when he beat heavyweight Matt Mitrione in a punching machine contest.

"I genuinely didn't think I'd beat him. I feel bad!" Hendricks laughed.

"I really wasn't into my power back then. I think I hit 700, whereas now I'm hitting 900. So I'm slowly developing my punching power and that's crazy.

"Every fight I'm getting a little bit better and the thing is, I try not to hit that hard. I want to enjoy the fight, I don't want to finish it - is that weird?

"The 15-minute fights are always way more fun. Sometimes when I finish it too soon, it's like, 'Really? Man.' But sometimes I can't control it. Sometimes I throw the punch harder than I should and then the fight ends. And I'm like, 'Crap! That sucks.'"

Such an attitude has been expressed in the past by England's Dan Hardy, who also prefers a 15-minute war to a flash knockout. And Hendricks admits he would love to have a barnburner with Hardy if their paths ever align.

"If I fight him I'm taking a step back, because of where I am right now," Hendricks said. "But if I did fight him, it'd be a great fight. That's what I like about Dan Hardy, he's that fighter. He's someone who puts on a show for the fans.

"If I am heading his way, that'd be a great fight."

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Ben Blackmore is deputy editor of ESPN.co.uk