For most fighters in the welterweight division, drawing Jon Fitch as an opponent usually doesn’t elicit a celebratory response. Johny Hendricks, who faces Fitch tonight, would be the exception in this case.
“I was jumping up and down,” Hendricks told MMAWeekly Radio of his reaction when told he’d be fighting the notorious grinder. “Joe Silva said most people aren’t this excited to fight Jon Fitch, and I love it because I’ve fought guys like him. I’ve had many of those kinds of matches through my lifetime and what you have to do is you have to know how to counter it. Knowing how to counter it, knowing how to do certain things, to make it feel like he doesn’t have that opportunity to keep smothering you. We’ve watched every fight of his, frontwards and backwards. We’ve went over it more than any other fight, and we have a great game plan going into this.”
Hendricks is further motivated by the fact that he’s largely being written off against Fitch, intending to prove the majority wrong on fight night.
“Nobody knows who I am; everybody’s writing me off saying Jon Fitch is going to get another title shot. That makes it that much more fun for me because the last time they were saying that, it was a quick night against Amir Sadollah,” said Hendricks. “I’m not looking at a title shot because my one goal right now is to defeat Jon Fitch and do it in a dominating fashion. If I can do that, everything else people are talking about will fall into place.”
Fitch and Hendricks will square off tonight on the main card of UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.