Hendricks didn’t get the matchup he wanted, but he will have a
fight on his hands March 16 when he meets Jake
Ellenberger at UFC
“It sucks, but it is what it is,” Hendricks told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday.
Hendricks wanted a shot against welterweight champion Georges St.
Pierre. The same night he’ll be fighting Ellenberger, though,
GSP will be defending his title against Nick Diaz.
“I’ve done my campaigning,” Hendricks said. “I’ve done all I can
do, and now that you have Jake Ellenberger in front of you, you
can’t keep dwelling on the past. Right now if I don’t focus on Jake
Ellenberger, then he could go out there and beat me just because
you’re focused on something totally different. You’ve got to know
Jake Ellenberger is a tough fight. It sucks that you do all this
work and you’re not there, but guess what? It’s not the end of the
world. I’m still able to fight. If I win this one, then I know I’ll
be right where I was.”
But if he loses, Hendricks could slide down the welterweight
ladder. This close to a title shot, it’s not a drop he wants to
“[Ellenberger] has shown that he can knock people out, and whenever
you have that kind of power, you have to respect it,” Hendricks
said. “You have to know, ‘OK, this guy is a heavy-handed guy.’ …
That’s what makes fighting people like that a little bit more of a
challenge, a fun challenge, because no matter what happens -- it
might be the second or third round -- you still have to worry about
everything. It makes it that much more exciting.”
Hendricks will have plenty of time to prepare for his March date
with Ellenberger, but he had actually already been training for St.
“We watched footage every day,” he said. “We were training stuff
every day for about a week and a half before the news came out. I
was excited. I thought I was going to have to compete against
Silva to fight [St. Pierre]. That’s a tough person to compete
against, and here it is somebody in my division that beat me to it.
It is what it is.”
It’s another obstacle, but Hendricks is resolving himself to the
task ahead. He considers Ellenberger just as difficult an opponent
as St. Pierre and a “little bit more dangerous.”
“[With] Georges St. Pierre you don’t have to worry about knockout
punches,” Hendricks said. “You’ve just got to worry about getting
taken down. [With] Ellenberger, you’ve got to worry about the punch
and also his takedowns. I’ve fought a couple of guys just like
that, so I think I’m prepared.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 59:55).