Even though he's the new UFC welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks may not exactly be loving his professional life these days. The reason being that, for one of the few times in his life, the wrestler is forced to watch from the sidelines, while recovering from a torn biceps.
“It sucks being on the sidelines, knowing these guys are all fighting to get to me, and I can’t do anything about it,” Hendricks told USA Today in a recent interview.
“I can’t train for it, can’t get ready for it. The only thing I can do is sit here and wait for them to battle it out. I don’t like that.”
Hendricks does indeed have a long list of challengers awaiting him. UFC president Dana White has said that the winner of next month's showdown between Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler will decide who "Big Rigg" fights next.
In addition to them, Rory MacDonald can't be far behind after winning two straight against top competition. Hendricks beat Lawler in a close thriller back in March and would be happy to fight him again, but isn't picky.
“If Matt Brown wins, that’s awesome because it’d be nice to train for someone new,” Hendricks explained.
“But if Robbie Lawler wins, I’ve trained for him before and I can do it again and make some corrections. I could also go into it injury-free this time. That’d be nice.”
As for MacDonald, Hendricks says that the young Canadian's style is effective, if overly cautious. “I’m not going to talk trash on anybody, but he makes guys feel awkward," he said.
"But when someone is doing that, hey, you’ve got to know that sometimes you have to eat a punch to deliver a punch. Sometimes you’ve got to say to yourself, ‘I am paid to be an entertainer.’ In my fights it’s not if I get hit; it’s when I get hit.”
Before he can fight any of these men, however, Hendricks has to keep on healing. Sitting around and waiting isn't something the former national champion wrestler is good at, but his doctors helped him put things into perspective.
“They scared me into being a good patient,” Hendricks said.
“It’s tough for me. Growing up wrestling, you get injured and they expect you back on the mat in a couple weeks unless it’s really bad. What I found out is that if I jump the gun, instead of being six weeks in a sling and six weeks recovering, it might turn into 12 weeks in a sling and 12 weeks recovering.”
How do you think Hendricks will do against whomever he fights, coming off such a serious injury? Let us know in the comments section.