After the seemingly impossible happened earlier this month, Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight contender Johny Hendricks said Tuesday he’s expecting to produce another shocker.
Hendricks (15-1), a hard-hitting Texan, is matched against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre on Nov. 16 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas -- the main event of the UFC’s 20th anniversary show.
“What that showed is that anything can happen, and me and Chris Weidman think alike,” Hendricks said of the newly belted UFC middleweight champion who produced a stunning second-round knockout of six-year-champion Anderson Silva on July 6.
“They’re just an average person, another human being holding the belt. I want it.”
St-Pierre, who has reigned since 2007, has dominated by taking his opponents to the ground, subjecting them to hard punches, elbows and further punishment.
“I’m going to have to beat him everywhere -- on the feet or in takedowns,” Hendricks said. “Everyone thinks my wrestling is nonexistent, but I’ve proven I can take people down if I want to.
“It’s just more fun hitting them in the face.”
Considering his impressive victories over Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz, there seem to be no glaring holes in St-Pierre’s game. Hendricks said he sees some.
“He’s got to watch his chin 24/7, because he’s been rocked in those last couple of fights, and he’s been put away by another guy [Matt Serra] before. I hit harder than any of those guys. If I hit him, it’s night-night. He knows that.
“I go in there with a couple game plans, but I’ll also go by the moment. I can get him with my left hand.”
Hendricks will have a prominent stage on the main event of the anniversary show that could very well stand as a coronation of the UFC’s top current champion
“Pressure is for people who are weak-minded and get bottled up in it,” Hendricks said. “I choose not to recognize it. To know I may win the belt on the 20th anniversary doesn’t get me upset. It gets me ready. That’s what I’m really looking forward to.”
Hendricks’ typically long fight-night beard has already started growing.
“Wanted to start it now, I’m pretty excited,” he said.