Johny Hendricks didn't just have to go through one contender to finally earn a shot at the UFC welterweight title. He had to go through a former interim champion and three top ten fighters to finally get his crack at the belt, and it's a similar path that a UFC legend followed not that long ago.
UFC Hall of Fame member and former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell had to go through just about every top name at 205-pounds before finally getting his shot at then champion Tito Ortiz.
UFC President Dana White, who appeared on the Jay Mohr Show on Fox Sports Radio on Wednesday, said there were definitely similarities between Hendricks and Liddell. Both fighters let their performances earn title shots, not their mouths.
"Very Chuck Liddell-esque, he did it the same way Chuck Liddell did, very true. Chuck Liddell just kept taking out competitor after competitor, you know top contenders waiting for Tito (Ortiz) to fight him. Finally, Chuck got his due," said White.
"I agree, Johny Hendricks has done it the exact same way."
One way Hendricks may want to avoid the Liddell route to the title is the fact that the former champion actually lost before he ever even got his chance to face Ortiz in the Octagon. Liddell lost to fellow UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture in an interim light heavyweight title fight before a few bouts later finally getting his hands on Ortiz in a non-title matchup.
Liddell dispatched of Ortiz, and then moved on to beat Couture in a rematch to finally claim his first UFC gold.
Hendricks has definitely seen a few twists and turns on his road to a title shot, but now he appears to be on the precipice of finally getting his chance to dethrone champion Georges St-Pierre. White even admits that Hendricks has walked a murderer's row of opponents to finally get to where he's standing now, but after beating former interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 158 there was no doubt he more than earned his chance to compete for the belt.
"I'm actually happy that he ended up fighting Carlos Condit, because that fight really was to see who the No. 1 contender was," White stated. "I'm still talking about that fight today."
The fight between Hendricks and Condit earned both fighters a $50,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus, but more importantly it put Hendricks next in line for a shot at the belt. Hendricks is already being held in pretty esteemed company being compared to UFC icon Chuck Liddell, and if his career can walk nearly the same road he'll be consider a legend in his own right when he finally calls it quits.
For now, Hendricks is just working to get back in the gym so he can start preparation for his shot at St-Pierre whenever the fight gets made.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.