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Steve Cofield

Hendricks may be headed for the UFC

He's growing with each fight but it may not be a slow learning curve for much longer. Johny Hendricks (5-0), a two-time NCAA Div. 1 wrestling champ, has a decision to make. His coaches at Xtreme Couture would like to see him drop down from 170 to 155 pounds. If he chooses to stay at welterweight then he'll have to go to UFC. The choice to fight at welterweight in the WEC no longer exists with the promotion eliminating the weight class. Hendricks wrestled at Oklahoma State at 157 and 164, and has some extra mass that he can lose. It's just a matter of readiness. Is Hendricks far enough along to compete with the higher level of competition in the UFC's welterweight class?

He may also have some extra time to decide after injuring his left hand. Hendricks can be seen wincing an awful lot during this WEC.tv postfight interview:

"I hit him upside the head as hard as I could, I think I broke my hand. I'm not a 100-percent sure," said Hendricks, who knocked down Alex Serdyukov in the middle of the second round. "I couldn't do nothing, I had to use my jab and my hook. What I learned in this fight, not to hit him behind the temple. You break hands. Hit him in the face or stomach, somewhere softer."

Hendricks said he had to hold on in the third round to get the unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards) victory. He did pick up some extra scratch by nabbing Fight of the Night honors and a $7,500 bonus.

Hendricks' teammate Jake Rosholt ran into a buzzsaw in his first UFC fight against Dan Miller at Ultimate Fight Night 17 fighting at middleweight. Rosholt, a three-time NCAA champ, is part of Team Takedown, along with Hendricks and fellow OSU alum Shane Roller. Hendricks could stay in the WEC if he chooses to fight at 155 pounds.

Another welterweight Mike Pierce, who also fought on the non-televised portion of WEC 39, told WEC.tv that he treated this as if it were a tryout for the UFC. He stopped Justin Haskins in the second round. Pierce took the fight on short notice when Douglas Lima was injured.

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