Johny Hendricks found new life as a middleweight on Sunday night but the former welterweight champion is still willing to revisit history to get revenge for a past wrong in his career.
While it appears Hendricks’ days competing at 170 pounds are still finished, he would love the opportunity to avenge his loss to former champion Georges St-Pierre now that he has inked a new deal to return to the UFC.
Hendricks lost to St-Pierre in a very close decision back in 2013 and it’s the kind of defeat that’s stuck with him ever since.
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Now with St-Pierre returning to the UFC while also hinting at a possible fight at 185-pounds against current champ Michael Bisping, Hendricks is salivating at the chance to finally settle the score with the Canadian superstar.
“Georges might be coming back and I just say sorry for the Canadians. I’m going to have to beat his face in,” Hendricks said at the post fight press conference. “Definitely if he comes to 185 [pounds] cause that’s a fight I’ve been really looking forward [to] and now that I’ve got a win on my belt at 185, he’s the newcomer at 185, supposedly, I think he said he might come to 185 cause he wants to fight [Michael] Bisping.
“Who would want to see him and Bisping or me and Bisping? I’m sure the whole world would match rather see that.”
It’s been hard for Hendricks to escape the questions about St-Pierre ever since their first fight nearly four years ago but now that the former champion is actually coming back, it’s clearly a fight that interests him greatly.
As enticing as a fight with St-Pierre might be, Hendricks makes it clear that he’s not going back to welterweight to make it happen.
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For the first time in years, Hendricks says he actually enjoyed fight week because he wasn’t damaging his body with a brutal weight cut to get down to the 170-pound limit. It’s clear Hendricks has no desire to go through that again, especially after the joy he found competing at middleweight on Sunday night in his victory over Hector Lombard.
“I feel good. It felt different. Going into that second and third round, that’s usually whenever I die. I’m trying to survive the third round and I was out there bouncing around, enjoying it,” Hendricks said. “Really a lot of it just boils back to I enjoyed it. This fight week was fun. It wasn’t a miserable fight week.
“That’s really all I can explain to it. It became fun again. Not just a dreadful week.”
Hendricks noted that it was his own success at welterweight that likely prevented a move to middleweight earlier in his career, but he’s learned his lesson and now he’s happy to compete at 185 pounds going forward.
“We made such a good mark at 170 [pounds] it’s hard to give that up. It really was. It was so hard to give that up,” Hendricks admitted. “Now that I look back I’m like you’re an idiot for not doing it sooner. But who’s to say that’s not the right time for me to move up. I really believe that God has a purpose for everything that I do. You miss by a quarter of a pound and then you miss by two and a half [pounds]. Then your kidneys fail for five or six days and they rebooted and I came back.
“I believe there’s a purpose for everything and I think my purpose was I was trying to do it on my own instead of listen.”