UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks will enter the Octagon this weekend at UFC on FOX 3 with more on the line than a simple win or loss. The 28-year old Oklahoman takes on Josh Koscheck who is not only a highly-ranked competitor but a close acquaintance of a man Hendricks recently dropped in highlight-reel fashion, Jon Fitch. However, rather than break under the weight of maintaining his claim to title-contendership and living up to the expectations of knocking out Fitch, Hendricks has embraced the challenge and actually seems excited about facing it.

“If you can’t get the title shot, Josh Koscheck’s right there. Here’s the thing: Who’s fought (Georges St-Pierre)? Josh and Fitch have fought him at least once, and Josh fought him twice. So I can go out there and see where I stand against somebody like that,” said Hendricks in an interview on MMAJunkie Radio about his May 5 match-up.

Hendricks also acknowledged he’s especially motivated by building off his performance against Fitch to solidify his status as the real deal in the minds of any who currently doubt it.

“You’re only as good as your last fight, and this is fight is my most important one so far because if I go out there and do good, people are going to remember that. If I go out there and flop, people will be like, ‘It was a lucky punch.'”

Koscheck and Hendricks will serve as co-headliner on a card featuring lightweights Jim Miller-Nate Diaz in the main event as well as Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson and Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares.