DALLAS -- Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks used a steady diet of takedowns and ground and pound to drown Matt Brown for three rounds and score a much-needed decision win on Saturday night at UFC 185. But despite the lopsided nature of the fight, Hendricks' first reaction was to criticize his own performance as lackluster, and in that, UFC President Dana White seemed to agree.
"I'm happy for Johny. Johny has come off a rough, I guess we'll call it a couple years. But I didn't love the fight. Didn't love it," White said on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show.
Now that he's back in the win column, the question remains of what exactly to do with Hendricks next. Before he was ever booked against Brown, Hendricks was tentatively slated to face Robbie Lawler in a trilogy match, having split the first two contests with the current welterweight champion. But circumstances led the UFC to go down a different path, and now Lawler is scheduled to rematch Canadian contender Rory MacDonald on July 11 at UFC 189.
The assumption was that, with a win at UFC 185, Hendricks would get the opportunity to wait on the sidelines and fight the winner of that bout, likely in the fall. But after watching Hendricks wrestle his way to a victory over Brown, White was largely noncommittal when asked whether Hendricks deserved a golden ticket for the next title shot.
"We'll see how this thing plays out," White said at UFC 185's post-fight press conference. "A lot of different things happen. I've seen guys say, ‘hey, I want to sit out and wait for that belt,' and they don't end up fighting for that belt for two years. So we'll see what happens. It's usually not a really good decision, but sometimes it can work. If it works out, then it will. If not, I'm sure Johny will take the option to fight."
For his part, Hendricks agreed with White's tepid feeling towards his own performance, though he also acknowledged that his preference would be to wait and fight against the winner of Lawler-MacDonald at the next UFC event in Texas -- Houston's UFC 192 pay-per-view offering on Oct. 3.
As for who he'd like to face, Hendricks pointed to the unfinished business he has with the man who currently sports the belt.
"I would like to fight Robbie Lawler again. I'm not going to lie," Hendricks said. "He's a tough dude. And you know, he's a very nice guy, which I like. I like fighting nice guys and fighting guys who you don't have a problem getting in the Octagon. But it doesn't matter.
"I'm my worst critic. I think I could've done a lot better. I didn't, but I have a lot to improve and that makes me happy."