Johny Hendricks has already begun preparing for UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
He’s not even 100-percent certain that GSP won’t be moving up in weight to fight Anderson Silva next, but he’ll be studying the champ anyway in hopes of fighting him this year.
In a recent interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, Hendricks discussed the possible matchup, St. Pierre’s role in the next “Captain America” movie and more.
On whether he thinks St. Pierre will look to wrestle with him: “Yeah, because that’s his bread and butter. I don’t think he wants to stay on his feet for too long knowing that he does get caught and he can be dropped. Knowing that right there, I think he’s going to try to do a little bit of wrestling with me. The only thing is, my wrestling, that last fight really boosted my [wrestling] confidence into the MMA world. How my wrestling looked in that fight and how many takedowns I got and how I used my hands, now I’m starting to understand.
“If you watched that fight, Carlos Condit did a great job covering up, but it left his legs wide open, and that’s really why I was doing so many takedowns is because it’s hard to give that up. I know my wrestling is strong. I know MMA’s a little bit different, but the difference is that I’m not scared to get punched. I think that’s one reason why it’s harder to take me down, and GSP, he covers up pretty good. I think I’m going to use that and I’m going to use my left hand also to set up some of the takedowns.”
On St. Pierre’s style: “I think I know it fairly well. I want to know it extremely well. We got to study it for, let’s see here, about two weeks before I found out Nick Diaz was going to get to fight him, and then the fight before that, it took about two weeks before I found out that I wasn’t going to get to fight GSP. I’ve got about a month under my belt on training, but now that I really get to sit down, man, I just can’t wait to see if I still remember it, for one. Two, to see if some of the things I saw live happens in the Nick Diaz fight. Also just to study my tapes. More or less, I’m more excited to study my tapes because there’s some things I did all right and there’s some things I didn’t do very well and I really want to dissect my tapes before I even get to GSP.”
On waiting to fight St. Pierre: “Don’t get me wrong. It’s getting irritating that stuff keeps popping up, but you’ve got to keep your cool because whenever I do get to face Georges St. Pierre, if I don’t keep a level head now, whenever I go out to fight him, you might be so amped up and ready to fight, you can’t think about what you’re supposed to do in the Octagon because of all the things that have happened. What I have to do is, I just have to sit back and relax and say, ‘Hey, I can’t control that.’ The only thing I can control now is that I am the No. 1 contender. I can go into the gym. While he’s doing a movie, I’m going to be training for GSP.”
On not being a major underdog according to current odds: “That’s pretty exciting to know. A lot of people believe that I can win this fight. It’s nice to believe. I believe I can win this fight. If I don’t believe I can win this fight, then I shouldn’t be fighting him. I shouldn’t be fighting in general. So I believe I can win this fight, but knowing that there’s that many people out there that believe I can win it as well, that’s great. That’s reassuring. It just helps build your confidence as well.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 32:34).