Following his first round knockout victory over Martin Kampmann at UFC 154, Johny Hendricks told anyone who would listen that he expected his next fight would be for the welterweight championship.
And he would sit on the sidelines until that happened.
That was while the collective thought in the MMA world was that current 170-pound king Georges St. Pierre would be setting up a super-fight against Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva following his win over Carlos Condit. But that's not what happened.
No, "Rush" was booked to battle Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 158 on March 16, 2013, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. That's the same Nick Diaz who is coming off a loss and a year-long drug suspension. The same Diaz who screwed the UFC the first time they tried to put this fight together.
Hendricks could have been openly bitter about this and no one would have blamed him. But his attitude has been excellent in the wake of the news. Indeed, the UFC booked him on the very same card as the co-co-main event against Jake Ellenberger. In a text to MMAFighting.com, Hendricks explained how he was convinced to take the bout:
"They made me I guess lol."
And about "GSP"?
"(I) just have to win and GSP has nowhere to hide from me. Man, he's scared. That's why he wants me to keep fighting because maybe I'll lose and then he won't have to retire (before fighting me)."
St. Pierre has said he wants to get the Diaz fight in his rear-view mirror before moving on to Hendricks. His attitude is that if "Big Rig" is good enough, he'll get his title shot eventually and the French-Canadian has no problem giving it to him when the time is right.
Sound good to everyone?