Johny Hendricks wanted to make a point on Saturday night.
He had looked sluggish in his razor-thin UFC welterweight title loss to Robbie Lawler in December, and he vowed to change his approach. Hendricks (17-3) said he wasn't going to let himself get out of shape between fights, then look like a renewed fight next time out.
In front of an adoring hometown crowd in Dallas, Hendricks demonstrated he remains every bit a top contender to the belt he once held. Hendricks overwhelmed Matt Brown and got back into the win column with a unanimous decision at UFC 185.
Hendricks looked in tip-top condition and was energetic from the get-go, as he took Brown (19-13) down at will, scoring seven takedowns altogether in the fight, in spite of several blatant fence grabs by the Cincinnati native.
Hendricks got the best of things in the standup, unleashing his lethal left hands, and got in a fair bit of ground and pound when the fight hit the floor.
In the closing round, a desperate Brown worked for submissions from the bottom, but it was too little, too late.
Hendricks, for his part, was his own worst critic.
"That wasn't a good fight," said Hendricks, who had 11:26 of control time in the bout. "I just can't figure it out. Matt Brown is tough, but i feel like I had him in the first round, second round."
Hendricks will wait on the winner of the Lawler-Rory MacDonald fight, expecting to get the next title shot.
"That title is mine, whoever wins, I want one of them. I'm gonna fight him and I'm gonna win."