Johny Hendricks insists that he was only punching at 70% when he beat up UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre last Saturday before losing a controversial split decision. The reason?
Hendricks tells the Dallas Morning News that he had his hands wrapped more lightly than usual before his UFC 167 title bout against GSP and so was not able to safely hit with as much power as usual. "I usually get a thick wrap and this time I didn't do that," Hendricks said.
"Instead of me asking for a thicker wrap, I kept my mouth shut. It's my fault. That's on me. It means I hit hard enough that I can punch through the 4 oz gloves. So that's what made my hands get bruised. I couldn't punch as hard as I could [have]. The more injured I get, the less I get to use it, the more he gets comfortable, so I had to tone down my power. I was still hurting at 70 percent. Wait till I get a full hand wrap. That only builds confidence, because I beat the pound for pound best fighter in the world. I will be back, and I will be stronger than before."
Ideally, Hendricks said he would like to rematch St. Pierre at the March 15 UFC 171 card which will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX, where the welterweight lives. "Yeah, I think I have a great chance to fight on that card," Hendricks said.
"It's going to be great for Texas and a lot of people in Oklahoma. My goal is to have it be one of the bigger shows. If I can't fight, I am still going to promote it. It's going to be great for the sport to come here and try to fill the stadium. That would be impressive."
Hendricks also said that he has not re-watched his fight against St. Pierre, who announced what sounded at least like a leave of absence from competition post-fight, but maintains that he beat the champ everywhere.
"Yeah, I think I won that fight and so does everyone else," Hendricks said.
"If he straight-up beat me, I would understand, but he didn't. I think I am going to beat him next time like I did last time."
As for a knee injury that required a medical suspension after UFC 167, Hendricks insists that the swelling is down, that he visited a doctor and that his knee is now fine.
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