Johny Hendricks will fight Martin Kampmann on November 17, 2012 at UFC 154 in a title eliminator to determine who will get the next shot at the UFC welterweight title. But the "what if" factors surrounding the UFC's welterweight division have kept everyone, including Johny, guessing what could happen next. Johny broke down possible scenarios for the UFC welterweight division's future, in addition to talking about his upcoming fight with Kampmann on MMA Fight Corner on Wednesday night.
Hendricks last fought in May at UFC on FOX 3 and pulled off a split decision victory over Josh Koscheck. Prior to that, the signature win that put him in the contenders circle was his 12 second knockout over Jon Fitch that earned Knockout of the Night honors at UFC 141.
When the fight goes down in Montreal, Canada, Hendricks and Kampmann will be battling it out to determine who's next to challenge for the UFC welterweight title. In the main event that night, Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit will fight to unify the UFC welterweight title. For GSP, talk is already leaning toward a superfight against Anderson Silva next. If Condit wins, Hendricks or Kampmann may finally get a title shot after waiting for what has seemed like an eternity for their opportunity at the welterweight strap.
Hendricks is pumped for the opportunity to fight on the same night the title fight is happening. "To be fighting the same night as them, is actually really cool because it's sort of like a tournament. It's a little tournament and the winners of each one get to face each other."
By time St. Pierre steps into the Octagon against Condit, it will have been close to 18 months since his last fight at UFC 129. Condit won the interim title in February at UFC 143, but hasn't challenged anyone since winning the title. With the whole title picture having been on hold for some time, Hendricks gave his take on who could emerge victorious.
"I think, Carlos Condit, his takedowns have improved a little bit, but have they improved enough to stop GSP? I don't know. Carlos Condit is great on his back, but GSP doesn't spend a lot of time in the closed guard, he's always trying to pass. Carlos Condit has also proved that he has knock out power, he's very, very dangerous with the clinch, his knees - and also, he's proved that he can dance around. He can move, he doesn't just have to stay in front of you where a lot of people tend to be for GSP to take them down. I don't care who wins. My thought is, I gotta beat Kampmann to get what I want."
Despite having trained with Kampmann in the past in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture, Johny has no intention of letting any feelings he has for his former training partner affect how he performs. "I've always trained wrestling, you always compete against your friends. I've always done that my whole entire life and this is no different. I don't think he's changed that much and I don't know, I'm just sort of excited. Like I said, I've trained with this guy for awhile, knows how I fight, I'm pretty sure he's done some studying on it and he knows how I train and that's exciting to train for."
When Johny came on the scene in MMA, he hadn't developed a well rounded skill set and admitted that back then, Kampmann got the best of him. Their early sparring sessions he said didn't go "too good." He added that Martin's experience at the time was superior to his. "He was already been doing it for what, 10 years, the Dutch style kickboxing for a long time. Whenever I came in, you're right, all I was was a wrestler. I got my butt whupped everyday by those guys and that taught me some valuable lessons."
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