Georges St. Pierre rules the roost at welterweight, but just behind the UFC champ, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck have presented a major blockade to the top. Aside from losses to GSP, those two have combined to run roughshod over the division with a 9-1-1 record since 2009.
Fitch is called boring by many fans and Dana White has been lukewarm to giving the world's No.2 170-pounder another shot at the champ, but he keeps winning. Mike Pierce, Thiago Alves, Ben Saunders, Paulo Thiago, Akihiro Gono all tried but failed and the best B.J. Penn could get against Fitch was a draw. Johny Hendricks thinks he's the guy who breaks through against Fitch.
"You gotta fight Fitch the way he fights everybody. His main goal is to take you down, put you on your back and do what it takes not to get stood up," Hendricks told "The MMA Insiders" show on ESPN1100/98.9 FM. "My main goal is to defeat him where he's best at, getting people to the cage taking them down and grinding the win out."
Fitch was a solid college wrestler at Purdue while opponent was two-time national champ at Oklahoma State yet it was Hendricks who decided he needed to go back to basics and drill his wrestling. Fitch likes to use his length on the feet with punches to set up the takedown.
"As soon as he switches it to that you have to go into wrestling mode as well and I think that I've sharpened up my tools. That's one thing that was really lacking in my arsenal," Hendricks said. "Right now, if he wants to go wrestling, I'm ready for that."
Hendricks hopes to turn the tables on Fitch.
"Not only do I know that my wrestling is there, but also, if I don't feel like I'm doing what I need to do on the feet, I can switch it up and take him down ... make him fight where he's not comfortable," said Hendricks.
This is a make or break fight for the 28-year-old Hendricks. He's 11-1 in the young UFC career, but had his momentum stunted a bit when he a decision loss to Rick Story. Since then he's reeled off two straight victories and a win over Fitch puts him in the mix for a title shot qualifier fight.
"2012 has the potential of putting me where I want to be. This is the fight to start it all off. That's the way I'm looking at this fight. I gotta go out there and put on a dominating performance," said Hendricks.
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