Hendricks Has Trained to ‘Nullify Everything’ Fitch Can Do


Jon Fitch has a style that is extremely difficult to stop, but Johny Hendricks plans to do just that when they meet Friday at UFC 141.

“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 there.”

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).

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