Former two-time NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion Johny Hendricks proved yet again that despite his impressive wrestling credentials, he is not a one-trick pony at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem with his 12-second knockout victory of the number two-ranked welterweight in the world, Jon Fitch.
Fitch, who hasn't been finished in a fight in more than nine years, suffered only the second loss during his stint with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Along with the ending his five-fight win streak, Fitch also said goodbye to his long desired title shot aspirations.
Hendricks, on the other hand, has now won three straight in the UFC welterweight division since suffering his first ever loss to Rick Story back in 2010 at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 12 Finale.
With an impressive record (7-1) in the UFC along with taking out one of the top welterweights in the world, "Big Rig" sky-rocketed up the ranks of the 170-pound division.
He may even be knocking at the door of a title shot.
Speaking at the UFC 141 post-fight press conference, the former Oklahoma State University wrestling standout says that by doing what Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn couldn't do to Jon Fitch, he hopefully did enough to vie for the welterweight strap someday very soon.
Check it out:
"I think I belong where I'm at now, you know what I mean? I just beat the number two ranked guy. GSP couldn't do it in five rounds. B.J. Penn couldn't do it, love the guy to death, he couldn't do it. I just knocked the number two guy out in 12 seconds; you know what I'm saying? Where does that put me? Hopefully for a title, but if it doesn't, I'm going to have to go out there and prove it again."
In his lone title shot in the UFC, Fitch proved to be a game opponent when he lost to welterweight champion St. Pierre via unanimous decision at UFC 87 in 2008, while Penn fought to a draw with the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product at UFC 127.
Meanwhile, it only took Hendricks 12 seconds to get past Fitch.
With his "Knockout of the Night" bonus check in his back pocket thanks to his one hitter-quitter, Hendricks can ring in the New Year in style, while Fitch will have to go back to the drawing board and hope to climb back to the top of welterweight division in 2012.
Is Hendricks ready to compete for the 170-pound strap so soon? Or does he need to win another fight or two before challenging the champion?