UFC 196’s Johny Hendricks on GSP’s potential return: “Guess who wants to meet him? This guy.”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Johny Hendricks

“GSP might come back (laughs). If GSP comes back, guess who wants to meet him? This guy. So there’s a lot of things that can come into play by the time my fight gets here, and that’s really what I’m looking at. It might take two. It might take two, it might only take one fight, but I always prepare for the worst. It might take two fights, and then by the beginning of next year I might fight for the title again, good lord willing. Or hey, something even better, I can go out there, I can finish ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and I can get the next title shot. You just never know.’ … It’s more important for me to fight for the belt. Because here’s the thing, if GSP does come back – it’s sort of funny, the rumors started to happen whenever I sort of got pushed in the back and everybody thought I was going 185. And so realistically, the last what, two months the rumors started popping out? So realistically for me, it’s always the belt. Like I said a long time ago, the reason why I trained for GSP and I wanted all these things with him, is because he had the belt. Right now, it’s training for Robbie Lawler or Carlos Condit, whoever wins the next belt, wins the next match. That’s all that matters for me.”

-Johny Hendricks talks to Submission Radio about his place in the title picture and why he wouldn’t mind facing a returning Georges St-Pierre if a title fight isn’t next for him following a bout with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 196.

Penick’s Analysis: Obviously he’d like another crack at St-Pierre given he felt he won that first fight, but he’s been trying to get another title fight since he lost it, so his motivations are clear. Now, failing to make weight and getting taken out of UFC 192 didn’t help his case, but he can start 2016 off strong with a win over Thompson and begin building back from there. The welterweight division is kind of a jumbled mess at the top, and we’ll start to see some contenders emerge in their own way throughout the year, so Hendricks will have his opportunity to make his statement. It starts with making weight safely and winning at UFC 196.

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