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Johny Hendricks still not being promised potential title-shot

Johny HendricksWhen the UFC announced welterweight Nick Diaz would serve as the next opponent for champion Georges St-Pierre it put Johny Hendricks in a difficult position. Easily the division’s most deserving contender, the 14-1 Hendricks had the option of sitting on the sidelines while waiting for Diaz-GSP to throw down or take a tilt to stay active even if it meant jeopardizing a potential title-shot.

The bearded brawler decided to go with the latter, accepting a bout with Jake Ellenberger (28-6) at UFC 158 where St-Pierre is also set to defend his belt against Diaz. However, it turns out Hendricks still hasn’t been given a guarantee that he’s on deck for the winner of the evening’s headliner, meaning success against Ellenberger will look good on his record but not necessarily result in a crack at promotional gold.

UFC President Dana White was asked about Hendricks at a press conference for UFC 158 where he would only go so far as to say the hard-hitting wrestler was “probably” in line for a championship opportunity rather than offering up something more concrete.

Hendricks is on a five-fight winning streak including wins over Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and Martin Kampmann in his last three clashes. Eight of his victories have involved a strike-based stoppage despite Hendricks’ claim to high-level wrestling credentials as well.


  • Midget says:

    “Probably” – Does that mean he gets the shot if he wins and Dana can’t convince GSP to fight Silva?

  • raker says:

    That’s exactly what I thought in reading the article. I’m kinda wondering if GSP wanted to settle with Diaz before vacating for a move to MW. Also, if Rory bests Condit that gets him close to a title shot. He can’t wait forever so does he fight GSP or possibly Hendricks for a vacated belt? Hmmmmm….

  • raker says:

    By the way… I gotta say this out loud. This is the best MMA news site out the IMO. Great info, good dialogue and sharing of opinions without the trolls found in many other sites. Great job 5 oz of paaaiiiiinn!

  • darth_irritable says:

    Dana must really dislike Hendriks at a personal level. If he gets past Ellenberger, it would be pretty unconscionable not to grant him a title shot. I don’t think he wins, but he’s got a better shot than anyone not named MacDonald or Maia.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Oh Johny
    1st- Change your name to John.
    2nd- Keep beating people up.
    3rd- Be patient.
    Everything will fall into place.

    Good Lord Brendan, you are truly trying to be the TMZ of MMA.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Dana did say that this card is basically a WW tourney, so maybe there’s something not announced yet?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    GSP should be fighting Hendricks, while Diaz should be the one trying to get past Ellenberger for a title shot, but the UFC cares more about hype/ratings/money than the legitimacy of the rankings & the process by which fighters earn the opportunity to compete for a championship belt….so this is what we’ve got. Part WWE/hype/promotion and part legitimate sport.

    As for what comes out of Dana’s mouth, it doesn’t really matter anyway. His words carry little weight. His ramblings about #1 contender bouts are often more about hyping a fight than actually guaranteeing the winner a title shot. The UFC is constantly re-assessing its options, figuring out what will most improve their bottom line (in some cases short-sighted), and rolling with it. And pressure from FOX execs certainly factors into some of those decisions as well.


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