Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Despite the fact that he was promised a title shot after beating Josh Koscheck at UFC on FOX 3 last month, Johny Hendricks says he isn't surprised he'll have to go through Martin Kampmann first.
UFC president Dana White broke the news last week that the promotion is looking to set up an unofficial welterweight tournament at UFC 154, which will feature Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit for the undisputed welterweight title and Hendricks vs. Kampmann for the No. 1 contender spot.
"It is what it is," Hendricks told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday. "I feel like I fought the best guys at 170 in our division and I've won, but it looks like I have to get through one more person, and that's just the way it goes. You can either sit here and complain about it or you can sit there and do your best to win it."
And while Hendricks is putting on a happy face, he won't hid the fact that he was initially disappointed when he heard about the UFC's plans.
"Of course you're disappointed. You get promised a title shot and then something happens and it doesn't happen. But then again, that's the nature of this business. There's always good fights going on, you just have to win each one."
Considering all the injuries that have plagued UFC events as of late, Hendricks admitted that he's still holding out hope that he will fight for the title this year. After all, there's no guarantee that St-Pierre will be healthy enough to fight on the Montreal card following his ACL injury last year.
"I'm training for a five-round fight because if one of them gets hurt, I got to take my opportunity when I can," he said.
Kampmann recently underwent minor meniscus surgery, but he told MMAFighting.com that he "shouldn't be out very long." Both Kampmann and Hendricks have yet to be formally offered a fight against each other on Nov. 17, but that hasn't stopped Hendricks from beginning to train for one.
Hendricks and his jiu-jitsu coach Marc Laimon are currently in New York City working with famed BJJ instructor Marcelo Garcia, and with a title shot currently off the table, Hendricks said he has a new mission he wants to accomplish before the year runs out.
"I'm always excited for a fight. If you don't go into a fight excited, you'll lose. He's had some good fights. He's lost rounds but ends up winning. That's who Kampmann is. You have to go in there and finish him. My next goal is to do that."
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