Johny Hendricks shocked the world last night, doing what no fighter in the UFC has been able to do so far by finishing Jon Fitch. And not only did he finish the notoriously tough grinder, Hendricks did it with the first punch he threw, just twelve seconds into the bout, a crushing left hand.
The now 12-1 fighter explained at last night’s post-fight presser that he was motivated by the overwhelming odds in Fitch’s favor and truly believed that if he hit him as hard as he could, it would make for a much different fight than most expected.
“The media said that I had no chance and I told them, since this first started, I at least have a puncher’s chance,” said Hendricks. “Good lord blessed me with a left hand and I was gonna put it on him. That’s what I told everybody.”
For Hendricks, the victory solidifies his position near the top of the division, having done what neither MMA legend BJ Penn nor UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre could do within the distance.
“I think I belong where I’m at now, you know what I mean? I just beat the number two ranked guy. GSP couldn’t do it in five rounds. BJ Penn couldn’t do it – love the guy to death – he couldn’t do it,” he said. “I just knocked the number two guy out in 12 seconds; you know what I’m saying? Where does that put me? Hopefully for a title, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to have to go out there and prove it again.”
Sporting a record of 12-1, his only loss a decision to Rick Story, Hendricks has no doubt established himself as a major player in the 170lbs. division heading into the New Year.