If you are surprised that former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks accepted a match against Matt Brown despite an obvious looming rematch with Robbie Lawler, you shouldn’t be.
After losing the belt to Lawler, Hendricks contemplated a move to middleweight but ultimately decided against it and arrived at the UFC 185 open workouts at an impressive 181 instead of the 190+ he usually sports.
“I’m the guy that, when it’s the offseason, I want to have fun, I want to get away,” Hendricks said yesterday. “But I don’t have that luxury. I only have so long I can fight for, right? Do I want to look back and say I lived my life fun, but I could’ve accomplished so much more in the three or four years, whatever I got left? Would I rather say, ‘hey, I got to where I want to be, I’m satisfied with that, I’ll be comfortable with that?’ No. I want to be the champion. I want to remain the champion. And I’d like to go out as being the champion.
“That’s why I’m making this change and hopefully it works. I believe it’s going to work. I feel like I’m back in college. I’m busting my butt everyday because I have something that I want. It got taken away from me, and I don’t want that to happen again.”
As for why he chose to take on Matt Brown instead of completing his trilogy with Robbie Lawler for the title, Hendricks wanted to make sure he didn’t pull an Alexander Gustafsson and get pushed out of the title picture.
“UFC came to me and they said, ‘Well, you’re about 10 weeks out, would you like to fight Matt Brown? You can wait for Robbie in July, or you can get another one?'” Hendricks said. “I’m sitting here going, well, if Rory MacDonald puts on a good performance or Hector Lombard knocks out Rory MacDonald, there could be an argument they steal it from me, right? Because I’m sitting on the shelf.
“If I fight and I get an impressive win, or I win in general, then they can’t take it (away from me). So you’ve got to sit there and weigh out the options. Matt Brown is a tough dude. Robbie fought him to get back to me, so who am I different to get in there with somebody like him and hopefully win and get back to my belt?”
Tags: Johny Hendricks