LAS VEGAS – Johny Hendricks has a very simple plan for upsetting Georges St-Pierre and earning the UFC's welterweight title. The challenger plans on walking through the champ's vaunted jab before launching a counterattack he thinks will put "GSP" to sleep.
"I don't want to take 'GSP' down," Hendricks said at Monday's UFC World Tour 2013 stop in Las Vegas. "I want to lay him out. That's all I want to do. That's what the fans want to see, and I know I have the power in both hands to do it."
Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) meet in the main event of UFC 167, which takes place Nov. 16 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena and airs on pay-per-view. It's a fight for which Hendricks has openly campaigned for years but wasn't absolutely sure he would get until Anderson Silva's knockout loss earlier this month ruled out the possibility of a Silva vs. St-Pierre superfight.
"I was a little nervous until the Anderson-Chris Weidman fight happened because you never know what's going to happen," Hendricks told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "If Anderson wins, does the superfight still happen? So he kind of helped me out, and now it's actually going to happen. I can't wait. I'm so excited."
Just as Weidman was supremely confident heading into his upset win over Silva, so, too, does Hendricks seem to believe it's his destiny to win the belt. A four-time Division I All-American wrestler, Hendricks' wrestling skills would seem to be just what is needed against St-Pierre, who's mastered the art of wrestling in terms of MMA application. Additionally, Hendricks has been blessed with knockout power, as a 46-second win over Martin Kampmann and 12-second stoppage of Jon Fitch can certainly attest.
While St-Pierre's jab is an incredible weapon, as well, Hendricks thinks it will pale in comparison to his power punches.
"I will bite on my mouthpiece and eat a jab to land a right or a left hand on his jaw line," Hendricks said. "That's the difference. Punch me in the face, I'll punch you twice as hard.
"When I'm in there, my goal is to break someone's jaw. Let them forget who they are that night. Let them wake up the next morning and go, 'What the hell happened?' That's my goal every fight."
Like Weidman, who shocked the world with his knockout win over Silva, Hendricks believes his attitude will prove another strength. He respects St-Pierre, a man who is certain to be a UFC Hall of Famer and may very well be the greatest welterweight of all time. But "Bigg Rigg" has no fear of the French-Canadian champ.
"Give 'em respect because they have the belt, but he's just a person," Hendricks said of St-Pierre. "I can beat anybody at any given time, and that's sort of the mentality that you've got to have when you're facing somebody with the belt.
"If he's going to sit there and do that jab, watch. I'll bite on the mouthpiece. I'll eat one to throw my left or right hand all day long.