For Johny Hendricks, Welterweight Title More Important Than Shot at GSP


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Johny Hendricks has earned the next shot at the UFC welterweight title, but that doesn’t mean his chance will come against champion Georges St. Pierre.

At this point, it isn’t clear if St. Pierre will defend his 170-pound gold again or move up in weight to fight Anderson Silva. Either way, Hendricks is certain he’ll be fighting for a belt next.

“If he goes up, I get a shot at the interim belt,” Hendricks told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I know there’s going to be one, and also, I know that he’s not going to come back down. He’s already said that if he goes up to 185, he’s never going to come back down to 170. That’s fine. I’d like to fight GSP just because he’s done so much in the 170 class, but if I don’t get to fight him, the more important thing is that belt. That belt is the most important thing of anybody’s career. If he moves away and goes up, then I know I’ve got the shot at the belt.”

Hendricks has won six straight in the UFC, including a unanimous decision over Carlos Condit in March at UFC 158. He took that bout after thinking he’d already earned a title shot by knocking out Martin Kampmann last November. Nick Diaz got the next crack at GSP, though, and now Hendricks isn’t sure he’ll ever get to fight him.

“I want that fight to happen,” Hendricks said. “I want to fight Georges St. Pierre. He’s the guy who’s had the belt for the last three or four years at 170. That’s who I want to fight, but also I can’t get into where I want to fight just Georges St. Pierre because let’s say he goes to 185. I can’t run and chase him to 185. The most important part is that belt. That’s what he holds. The thing that he puts around his waist after every fight and carries home, that’s what makes Georges St. Pierre so dominant, is that he’s been able to do that so many times. Yes, I’d like to be able to take it away from him, a shot at taking it away from him, but if he moves up, I want the belt more than Georges St. Pierre.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 32:34).

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