Johny Hendricks has had a rough go of late.
The former UFC Welterweight champion struggled to make weight -- something that the 32-year-old has sadly become known for -- for his UFC 192 pay-per-view (PPV) pairing with Tyron Woodley back in October and was thought to have been banished to the Middleweight division, according to UFC President Dana White.
That was until he heard the public service announcement made by weight-management specialist Louis Giordano, who has the tall task of accompanying the venison-crazed "Bigg Rigg" down to the 171-pound limit for his upcoming clash with Karate standout Stephen Thompson at UFC 196 on Feb. 6, 2016.
From the sound of things, the partnership seems to be going well and has renewed Hendricks' confidence so that he can reach the top of the 170-pound mountain once again.
The Oklahoman spoke to MMA Junkie about his tilt with "Wonderboy":
"I still have it; I still feel I'm still young at heart. I still move, I'm still fast, I still hit hard, and I have everything to get back to it. I know what I want to get back because I've tasted it. That's the difference between me and him right now. He wants it. I get that. I understand that. But it's me. It's not somebody else he's fighting - it's me. If he has that fire, that's fine because I can match anyone's intensity no matter how high they want to go or how low they want to go. I've proved that time and time again. Can he match mine? That's the question. When he gets hit by me, will he still be in there? That's the question. I've been hit by the hardest guys in our weight division and stood toe-to-toe. He hasn't done that yet. He has yet to face down the barrel of the gun and get hit."
Hendricks' resume speaks for itself.
In total, the four-time All-American wrestler has competed in 20 professional bouts.
Thompson, also 32, has 12 tilts under his belt, but also a wealth of kickboxing experience in tow.
Since an April 2012 defeat at the hands of No. 6-ranked Welterweight Matt Brown, the South Carolina native has rattled off five straight victories, including knockout finishes of Robert Whittaker and most recently, former Top 10 star Jake Ellenberger.
Thompson has yet to surrender a takedown in his last five outings, according to FightMetric, which makes this matchup all the more interesting.
We already know Hendricks possesses the power -- he's recorded eight career wins by knockout -- and what he plans to do going forward.
This fight could, and should, be bananas!
Get your popcorn ready and check out the rest of the announced meetings for UFC 196: "Werdum vs. Velasquez 2" by clicking here.