Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
MONTREAL -- After knocking Martin Kampmann out cold at UFC 154, Johny Hendricks will have to head to the holding pen, an unwitting pawn in the game being played between Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
Either St-Pierre takes the proposed super fight with Silva around May 2013 or he stays within his division to fight Hendricks. Those seem to be the two likely possibilities for the welterweight champion. But Hendricks has no say in the matter, and so he's forced to stand aside in hopes that St-Pierre eventually bends towards his direction.
"Well of course I don’t like it, but what can I do?" he said of the St-Pierre vs. Silva talk. "I can go out there and finish fights and that’s about all I can do. I made my case. [Kampmann is] a tough fighter. I knew he was going to be. I finished him and the only thing left is hopefully Georges St-Pierre."
Hendricks is now 14-1 overall and 9-1 in the UFC dating back to his octagon debut in 2009. And while company president Dana White said Kampmann's performance was strong enough to cement him as the division's top contender, he didn't say whether he'd let Hendricks wait around for St-Pierre if the champion does decide to go the super fight route.
Hendricks said he would wait if he had a guaranteed shot to fight for the belt.
"How often do you get a title shot?" he said. "I cleared out the division now. There's only one more person I’d like to fight. He’s at the top. For me personally, until I get that fight, that's what I’m waiting for.
As a former two-time NCAA wrestling champion, his takedowns and defense offer an interesting test for GSP, but it's his powerful left hand that makes him an intriguing challenger. After all, he's KO'd three of his last five opponents in devastating fashion.
"Yeah, for some reason whenever my left hand lands, it always feels solid," he said. "I don't have to hit the whole chin to lay someone out. That's always nice to rely on. I’m a wrestler and I can knock people out. That’s pretty sweet, huh?"
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