Johny Hendricks feels return at UFC 196 a “rebirth,” believes he’ll get back to UFC Welterweight Title

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Johny Hendricks

“It’s sort of the rebirth. Me and my coaches have been talking about it and say, ‘We have a new lease on life. We’re going to do what we can and we’re going to make the best of it.’ … 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.”

-Johny Hendricks talks to about his fight with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 196 and trying to get back after the awful weight cut that took him out of UFC 192.

Penick’s Analysis: Hendricks has a lot to prove in this return. Not only does he have to make weight safely after the October debacle, but he’s got to prove he’s just as dangerous as he’s been in the past, and take out a very talented man in Thompson. Hendricks had a very good run to bring him to the UFC Welterweight Championship, but he’s fallen greatly since losing that title, with a dull decision over Matt Brown preceding what happened in October. He has to get back on track, and fast, and if he doesn’t, he won’t ever get back to that Welterweight Title picture.

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