Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Greg Jackson, one of the main trainers of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, said on this week's edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV that despite talks of an Anderson Silva super fight, "Rush" and the camp have their sights set on top 170-pound contender Johny Hendricks heading in 2013.
Despite one of Georges St. Pierre's coaches, Firas Zahabi, recently saying Nick Diaz is the true No. 1 contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division, another one of St. Pierre's trainers, Greg Jackson, says the camp has an eye on Johny Hendricks.
After St. Pierre's most recent victory over Carlos Condit at UFC 154 last month, Jackson appeared on Monday's edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV where the famed trainer discussed who and what is next for the UFC welterweight champion.
"I don't know [who GSP will fight next], there's certainly some really tough guys out there, I'll tell you who we got our eye on is Hendricks. The guy's got a big bomb, he's good wrestling and I think he's going to pose a lot of problems, so we've really got to keep our eye on him."
In the eyes of most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, Hendricks become the number one 170-pound contender with a brutal first-round knockout of Martin Kampmann just minutes before St. Pierre defeated Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal.
Now, of course, the elephant in the room when it comes to any discussion about St. Pierre's next fight is Anderson Silva. It's very obvious at this point both the UFC and Silva want the fight to happen, but St. Pierre seems reluctant to move up in weight in order to make the super fight a reality.
While Jackson doesn't know exactly what St. Pierre's fighting scheduled is going forward, he says if GSP does end up fighting Silva, he will be there to help the French-Canadian prepare as he would for any fight, something he was unable to do most recently because of a Condit conflict of itnterest.
"I honestly don't know [if GSP will fight Silva next], I'll be there to help, myself and all the rest of the coaches who help Georges will be there to help if that happens, but I'm not sure it's all up to GSP and what he decides."
Since his knockout of Kampmann at UFC 154, Hendricks has made it abundantly clear he has no intentions of stepping in the Octagon again unless a UFC championship belt is on the line.
Should St. Pierre fight Silva, Hendricks would be on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time. Some say it would be in Hendricks' best interest to fight again in that timeframe, but Jackson thinks that unless "Bigg Rigg" has to sit on the sidelines for an unreasonable time period, it's not a big deal to wait out.
"I guess you should probably find out the distance of time involved, and if it's a ton of time you probably want to take another fight but if it's half a year or something that's not a big deal."
With these latest comments from Jackson, there's no doubt the whole MMA community will keep a close watch on St. Pierre's actions in the coming weeks and months.