Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck Results: What We Learned About Hendricks
The landscape of the UFC welterweight division has been forever changed by Johny Hendricks.
For years, the upper echelon welterweight lineup has consisted of Georges St-Pierre, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.
It took Hendricks only six months to change it.
After shocking the world with his first-round knockout over Fitch in December, Hendricks proved he was more than just a one-hit wonder in his split-decision victory over Koscheck at UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
While it may not have been the most exciting bout, a win is a win, and after knocking off two of the top contenders in the division, Hendricks proved that he deserves a shot at UFC gold.
"Would you wait for the opportunity to make millions or would you take another fight?" Hendricks said to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, when asked if he would wait around for a potential shot at the winner of St-Pierre and Carlos Condit.
Hendricks certainly makes a valid point, but with St-Pierre and Condit rumored for UFC 154 in November, he could be sitting cold on the sidelines for a long time.
The fact that he's even in the conversation for a title shot is a major achievement for Hendricks, who has been underrated for far too long in the sport.
In his win over Koscheck, here are five things we learned about Hendricks.
Ready for the Main Stage
Jonhy Hendricks - Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
In his victories over Fitch and Koscheck, Hendricks finally proved that he is ready for the big stage.
This wasn't the case back in December 2010, when he dropped a surprising unanimous decision to Rick Story.
There are plenty of talented guys who thrive in the beginning but fold under the pressure of facing quality opposition on a consistent basis.
Hendricks is proving he can become a mainstay attraction atop the 170-pound division.
Second Best Wrestler at 170-Pounds
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Outside of St-Pierre, Hendricks could be the next best wrestler in the entire welterweight division.
Hendricks, a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion for the powerhouse Oklahoma State Cowboys, has transitioned well over to MMA.
He has shown the ability to fend off and secure takedowns on some of the best wrestlers at 170 pounds.
His grappling abilities alone make him an intriguing style matchup for St-Pierre, who is considered the best wrestler in the sport.
Johny Hendricks - Joe Camporeale/US PRESSWIRE
Hendricks continues to show some serious longevity while under fire in the pocket.
Whether it's actually a strong chin or just his massive beard cushioning the blows, Hendricks has proven on several occasions that he can take a shot.
Koscheck isn't known for his technical prowess on the feet, but he landed a few good straight right hands that never fazed Hendricks.
Dangerous in Pocket
Johny Hendricks - Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Along with his sturdy beard, Hendricks has a knack for being wild and unpredictable in the pocket.
He still has some work to do as far as cleaning up the technical aspects of his striking, but there are few welterweights that boast his knockout power.
World-class wrestling and one-punch knockout power seems to be the key to ousting GSP, and the Team Takedown product could certainly be the man for the job.
Growing Pains in Public Eye
Johny Hendricks - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Hendricks' only hang-up seems to be his lack of charisma.
Fans generally haven't shown much interest in seeing him fight. Koscheck may not be the most consistent performer, but his personality is more than enough to keep viewers engaged.
Hendricks puts in work like an employee on an assembly line. He keeps his head down and does what he has to do to win fights and climb up the UFC ladder.
Fans may not enjoy such a mundane approach, but as long as Hendricks keeps winning fights, he'll always be relevant in the public eye.