“Stephen Thompson was just the better man tonight, what can I say? … No excuses, he was just the better man. I’m thinking August [is when I want to fight again], because I have a baby boy being born anywhere from March 24 to April 14, so I want to be there for my wife and help her out after the baby’s born… I’m still trying to figure out if somebody beats me, how do I beat them? Because I’m pretty sure I’m going to see them again and if I see them again, I want to make sure that it’s not the same outcome. It sucks when you lose, but like I said, I’ll be back, I’m going to get better, I’m going to get stronger. I’m still figuring things out. I’m pretty sure I’m going to see him again one day and now it’s about how do you figure out that style? Now I’ve felt it, now I understand it a little bit and that’s really what you have to do. Yeah I’m going to beat myself up over until I get another fight, but until then I’m really going to try to get myself better.”
-Johny Hendricks reacts to his UFC Fight Night 82 loss to Stephen Thompson at the post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com).
Penick’s Analysis: As a former champion, Hendricks will have his opportunities to get back and to try to get that fight again in the future, but it may not be as inevitable as he seems to think it will be. The loss Saturday night was so decisive and one-sided that even though it was just his fourth ever defeat, it was by far the biggest setback in his UFC career. It’s certainly possible for him to come back strong, but that’s the type of loss that could also be a sign of a serious down turn for a 32-year-old fighter. He’s now got a much higher hill to climb than before, and given his weight-cutting issues and a general lack of excitement for his previous win, he’s going to have to show something significantly different when he returns later this year.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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