It looks like the UFC wants to match welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre against Nick Diaz next, but Johny Hendricks believes he should get the shot.
Hendricks has won five straight, including knockouts of Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. On Thursday, though, UFC President Dana White said St. Pierre would like to fight Diaz next.
“If he’d have beat [Carlos] Condit, he would have been fighting GSP at that time and you’ve also got to think, Nick Diaz did have a chance to fight GSP a year and a half ago. He didn’t show up to his press conference,” Hendricks told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show prior to White’s comments on Diaz likely getting the next shot. “He’s had two shots to get GSP. All I’m asking is for one. That’s all that I’m asking for, and the thing is, the more that [St. Pierre’s camp] is talking about these other people and not wanting to fight me, it’s just giving me more and more confidence.”
Diaz did miss a press conference in September 2011 and was pulled from a title shot against St. Pierre. He could have also earned a crack at the champion by beating Condit this past February, but he lost the bout via unanimous decision. After that loss he tested positive for marijuana metabolites, and the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended him for a year.
“If he gets to take it after a year layoff and a loss, then it is what it is,” Hendricks said of Diaz getting the opportunity to fight St. Pierre. “You know what I mean? Enough being said, right? Here I’ve been in the last year, I’ve fought three guys in the top five and I’ve beat them all.”
Diaz has been an outspoken critic of St. Pierre, who in return hasn’t hid his dislike for the potential challenger. Hendricks doesn’t think that alone warrants a title fight, though.
“I can be the first one that can beat GSP,” he said. “I don’t think you have to sit there and talk trash. I don’t think I should have to. That’s why I like this sport, is that it’s not about who can talk the most trash. It’s how good your performances are, right? That’s what I really do like about this sport. You’re only as good as your last fight, and nothing else matters. Of course you do have to ask for the fights, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been asking since Josh Koscheck. I want a shot at GSP. Nothing else matters but that right there because he has the belt.”
If Hendricks gets passed over for Diaz, he seems willing to wait for the following title shot rather than fight again in the meantime.
“You can only hope for it, and there’s only so much that I can do to get a title shot,” Hendricks said. “I don’t want to be one of those people that has to be a jerk or whatever to somebody to get it. If they bypass me, guess what? I can wait. I got better in three months. I felt like I have improved a little bit on my striking and I improved a lot on my jiu-jitsu just in three months. If I have more time to wait, then guess what? I’m going to try to get that much better.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 29:46).