Johny Hendricks wants St-Pierre to vacate belt if Silva superfight happens
by Steven Marrocco on Apr 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm ET
As he finds himself saying more and more these days, Johny Hendricks isn't shocked.
Shocked, that is, to hear his road to the welterweight title could wind a little more.
When Hendricks didn't receive a bout agreement or hear from the UFC on a date and location for an expected fight with champ Georges St-Pierre, he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
) he started preparing himself for some bad news.
Even when he heard a few weeks ago that St-Pierre was training for him, he didn't get his hopes up.
"I was excited, but I didn't take it to heart, because he hasn't sent me that bout agreement," Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) said.
Now, more bad news may be on the horizon. UFC President Dana White on Thursday teased a possible move by St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) to middleweight, where he would challenge champion Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) in a superfight destined for big business. Further, St-Pierre wouldn't be required to vacate his belt. (St-Pierre hasn't made his plans public; his trainer has indicated bouts with Silva or Hendricks are possible.)
Such a move would delay an opportunity that's already been delayed six months for Hendricks, who has handily beaten three of St-Pierre's former challengers to become the No. 1 contender.
Hendricks, who's won six consecutive UFC bouts, said he would wait for St-Pierre if he went for Silva's belt, but would like the champ to vacate it. He's tired of waiting.
"That's what I've been preaching for the last six to eight months," he said. "I want to fight GSP because I'm a competitor. I want to fight the best guys in my weight class. But also, the belt is more important than GSP, and that's really what I'm looking at.
"If he wants to go to 185 then by all means, go to 185 and fight Anderson Silva. Yes, it would be a great thing for our sport. But I want the belt. I'd like to fight GSP for it, but if that doesn't happen, I'm not going to hang my head and say, 'Oh man, I'm going to be fighting that guy for the belt.'"
The main thing for Hendricks is a clear course of action, which has been denied by possible superfights, scheduling delays, and the whims of St-Pierre, who already has passed him over once by fighting Nick Diaz at UFC 158.
Hendricks passed another hurdle when he defeated former interim champ Carlos Condit at the same event, but isn't keen on becoming a gatekeeper for St-Pierre.
And seeing as Silva could lose his next fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 162 in July, Hendricks would rather get moving.
"I don't want to wait three months," Hendricks said. "What if Anderson Silva doesn't win? Chris Weidman is a very tough dude, a very good wrestler, and he's very tough on top. He beats him, well now we've been pushed to three months when we could have been fighting maybe a month after him.
"Now, we've got to wait another four months to prepare for our fight, so we're looking at December. I want to be able to fight in September, October, or even August."
Hendricks said he'll wait a day before his camp reaches out to the UFC. He's gotten upset after previous slights and doesn't want to put undue pressure on the promotion.
"I don't mind that he goes for Anderson Silva," he said. "I understand why he would. I don't know if he has a good chance to win, but if that's what makes him say, 'Hey, I really want to do that,' go for it. I just don't want to be sitting here fighting for No. 1 contender spots while he's doing that."
White, meanwhile, said he would speak to St-Pierre on Thursday about his plans for the future.
If St-Pierre were to call him directly, Hendricks said he'd just have a few simple questions for the champ.
"'When are we going to fight?'" he said. "Or, 'When are you going to go up, so I can fight for that belt?'"
In the event that St-Pierre were to vacate the belt, Hendricks anticipates a possible rematch with Carlos Condit for the undisputed title. Former interim champ Condit was outpointed by St-Pierre this past November at UFC 154.
"There's a part of me that thinks it might be me and Condit again," Hendricks said.
But again, there is uncertainty as to what happens next. As before, he'll have to wait and find out where his career is headed, and try not to bat an eye when he finds out.