Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
MONTREAL -- For Johny Hendricks, one wait is over, while another may be just beginning.
After edging Carlos Condit in UFC 158's Fight of the Night, Hendricks demanded a chance to fight UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, and that request was summarily granted by UFC president Dana White.
"He's the No. 1 contender. Done," White said before offering praise to both Hendricks and opponent Condit for their action-packed thriller.
That announcement thrilled Hendricks, who has spent a large portion of fight week campaigning for the match. But now he'll have to hope for some further good news. Hendricks said he hurt his left hand during the first round of the bout, and had to adjust his game plan accordingly, using his wrestling more than he originally expected to do.
That resulted in a career-best 12 takedowns in a single fight, which was a big reason he was awarded the win.
Hendricks said he plans to get the hand examined on Monday.
"I was hitting him pretty hard, and he was taking them, so once your weapons are injured, you've got to find another way to win, and that’s what I did," he said.
White would not put a timetable on the Hendricks vs. St-Pierre fight, but said he was interested in hosting it in Las Vegas, which would be the champion's first time fighting outside of Canada since defeating Dan Hardy in Newark, New Jersey in March 2010.
St-Pierre left the Diaz fight with redness and swelling on his face. He also had a bag of ice on his right hand during the post-fight press conference, but said he didn't suffer any injuries. Still, he is planning to take a week off and "forget about my crazy life for a little bit."
St-Pierre said he did not have a chance to watch Hendricks' Saturday night performance, but that he deserved the title shot now. Meanwhile, Hendricks had the chance to scout out his future opponent after his own fight was over, though he said he didn't necessarily learn anything new. If anything, it just reinforced his excitement to cash in his opportunity.
"Georges fought a good fight," he said. "It was the fight I though he was going to fight. The way he actually did more standup which was good to see. So, I’m just excited. i finally got to the top and now I’m actually going to get to fight him. That's what it’s about, getting to the top and fighting the best. I'm going to go back home, study some more, and be prepared as best I can."
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