“I want it. I don’t care. I want that belt. That’s what I just earned and it was taken away from me. I swear to God it won’t happen again.”
119 days later Johny Hendricks gets another chance to take what many feel should already feel is his. Following a highly controversial decision last November to then-Welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, Hendricks looks to put the past behind him and win the UFC Welterweight title tonight at UFC 171 in his native Dallas Texas.
That’s all he wants.
That’s what he and a majority of MMA fans feel he’s already earned.
Hendricks explained to Foxsports.com’s Damon Martin,”That’s what I want! That’s what I want more than anything. That’s what got me in this sport. I wanted to be the person that everybody’s coming after. That makes me excited, that means I’m where I need to be. That’s what it’s about. Everyone sitting here calling me out.”
“I’m not very good at calling people out so I like the roles being flipped. It makes me excited where I’m finally to a point where everybody’s wondering if I can do this, or I can do that, can he hold the belt as long as he wants? Those are things that I strive for.”
His days went like this: He woke up at 9 a.m. and ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill. Later, he went to the gym, where he worked out from 12 noon to 2 p.m., training everything from striking, circuit training, and jiujitsu. Johny would later return to the gym at night, training from 8 to 10 p.m, but his work isn’t done when he leaves the gym. He tries to stay active until midnight. As he told Stack Fitness, “12 o’clock at night, that’s our sport. In Vegas that’s only 10 p.m. I’m fighting between 10 and 11:30-ish, so I want to keep my body active and staying focused until that time.”
Hendricks continued, “This camp I’ve got to train for five rounds, not three. That being said, I need to do more. There are little things I’ve changed that allow me to do more. I’ve learned how to train smarter, harder. There are some bumps and bruises, but I’m healthy. That’s the goal of each camp, to get into the fight as healthy as you can.”
The hard work is over. All the training and weight-cutting is in the past. Now it’s time for Hendricks to secure the belt and everything that comes with it.
“There’s a part of me that says I can’t wait till it happens. If there’s part of you that doesn’t have that thought process already, then why are you even fighting? You’ve got to say I can’t wait for this opportunity and I can’t wait until Bruce Buffer says ‘and the new welterweight champion’ and Dana White puts it around your waist,” Hendricks told Foxsports.com.