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Johny Hendricks Officially Earns the Next Shot at UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Johny Hendricks (blue) celebrates after his main card bout against Carlos Condit (red) at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Damon MartinContributor IMarch 17, 2013

The day that Johny Hendricks has been waiting for will finally come true later this year barring any unforeseen circumstances.

After a "Fight of the Night" performance against Carlos Condit at UFC 158, Hendricks was finally granted the next shot at the UFC welterweight title and the champion Georges St-Pierre.

"He's the No. 1 contender.  Done.  There's no doubt about it," UFC president Dana White declared about Hendricks after the show was over.

Hendricks was already the No. 1 contender in most regards after his quick first-round knockout over Martin Kampmann last November at UFC 154.  The win marked Hendricks' sixth win in a row and his fourth over a top-10 fighter in the last two years.

It was believed that Hendricks would get the shot for the fight that happened on Saturday night, but former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz was granted the bout against St-Pierre instead.  Now, with a victory over former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit in his back pocket as well, Hendricks can no longer be denied.

Following his victory, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre agreed and believes Hendricks is the next fighter in line for a title shot.

"You're the best man, and I'm interested in fighting the best guy, and it's for the fans also.  The fans want the two best men fighting, and I'm up for the challenge," St-Pierre said when addressing Hendricks, who was sitting next to him at the post-fight press conference. "I think he deserves a title shot right now.  He earned it."

Hendricks couldn't quite wipe the smile from his face after finally hearing that he would get the next crack at the title and predicted that he would be back in the gym on Tuesday to begin his preparation for the championship bout.

First things first. Hendricks injured his left hand during the fight with Condit on Saturday, so he will have that checked out by a doctor when he heads home on Monday.  Regardless of any potential injury, Hendricks promised he would be ready to go when the UFC called to officially give him a date and time to face St-Pierre.

It's a fight he's already broken down in his head a thousand times, and Hendricks is confident he's the man to finally unseat St-Pierre as champion.

"I believe I've got better wrestling than him.  I did it since I was five, and I also go back to Oklahoma State and train all the time.  So yeah I believe I'm a better wrestler.  Also, I hit harder than him. That's a proven fact.  So I'm just excited for the opportunity," Hendricks stated.  "Hopefully I can finish him. That's my goal."

Hendricks will get his chance when he finally meets St-Pierre later this year for the UFC welterweight title.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.

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