Fitch has a style that is extremely difficult to stop, but
Hendricks plans to do just that when they meet Friday at
“Everything that you’ve seen Jon Fitch do,
don’t expect that,” Hendricks (Pictured) told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “That’s my game plan and
that’s my goal. He’s a very dominant fighter. … He’s very technical
at what he does and he’s very good at what he does. My goal is to
not let that happen. I think I have game planned and I have done
the right things to nullify everything that he can show me out
Fitch is a grinder who just about always finds a way to win.
Typically he outwrestles opponents and controls them from the top,
but Hendricks is a pretty stellar wrestler himself. He was a
two-time NCAA champion at Oklahoma State and he’s gone back to
those roots ahead of his bout against Fitch.
“I was a physical wrestler in college,” Hendricks said. “That’s one
thing I’m sort of getting back to, getting into that mindset I
[had] in college. Go in there and win at all costs. I started going
back to Oklahoma State because I fought Mike Pierce,
who is a tough, strong wrestler. The only difference between him
and Fitch is, I believe, that Pierce had knockout power.”
Hendricks does not sound concerned about Fitch’s striking. In fact,
he expects to be the more dangerous fighter on the feet.
“That is in the forecast, to definitely put my left hand on him,”
Hendricks said. “And I would like to see if I have knockout power
in my right hand. That’s my main goal in this fight too, is to hit
him with my right and see what kind of power I have in that.”
Hendricks sees the fight as a huge opportunity. Fitch is the No. 2
welterweight in the world, and a win over him could earn Hendricks
a title shot. Of course, talking about beating Fitch is one thing,
but actually beating him in the UFC is something only Georges
St. Pierre has done.
“All I’ve got to focus on is going in there, forcing my will and
getting my hand raised on that Friday night,” Hendricks said.
“Nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if they say, ‘Johny, if
you beat Jon Fitch, you
get a title shot no matter what.’ It does not matter. I’ve got to
focus on what’s going to happen during that fight and make sure
that I get my hand raised.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 9:21).