The cold reality that he may never face Georges St-Pierre for the UFC title is finally starting to sink in for Johny Hendricks.
After UFC 158, the initial plan was for Hendricks to challenge St-Pierre for the welterweight title later this year, but in the UFC, plans can change at the drop of a hat.
Firas Zahabi, St-Pierre's trainer, told TVA Sports (via BloodyElbow.com) St-Pierre was both injured and sick when he fought Nick Diaz.
According to Zahabi, the UFC champ entered the bout with a high fever and an Achilles tendon injury, and he would need at least six months to recuperate before returning to the Octagon.
Even if Hendricks sat on the sidelines and waited, it still isn't guaranteed he would receive the next crack at St-Pierre. During an appearance on Sherdog Radio Network's "Cheap Seats" show, Zahabi claimed St-Pierre was open to moving up in weight and challenging UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in his next bout.
Regardless of the outcome, Zahabi believes it would be St-Pierre's last fight ever in the UFC.
On top of all this, there is also the movie deal floating out there. Latino Review recently reported St-Pierre has been cast to play Batroc the Leaper in the upcoming Marvel comic film Captain America: Winter Soldier, which has already begun production.
Where does Hendricks fit into all of this?
On Wednesday, the top welterweight contender spoke with Bryan Levick and Mitch Ciccarelli on Alchemist Radio about whether he feels St-Pierre is ducking him:
I'd like to think that he's not ducking me. I'm sure the fans believe that too, that he's not ducking me. But the thing is, I understand the movie deal, but saying that he needs six months off to heal an injury, that's a little long. They have also been talking about that they might go up. You know what I mean? Just from those two things right there, you can take your own conclusions.
Why don't we just fight and get it over with? The worst case scenario is I beat you and we get a rematch, or the best case scenario is you beat me and you get to go up to 185 and fight Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately, things may not be so simple for Hendricks.
Fans have talked about a superfight between St-Pierre and Silva for years. UFC president Dana White has made various attempts at booking the blockbuster fight, but St-Pierre's reluctance to move up in weight always threw a monkey wrench in the UFC's plans.
It would make little sense for White to turn the bout down at this point, especially with St-Pierre finally on board.
Hendricks wants to fight St-Pierre, but his ultimate goal is winning the UFC title. Whether St-Pierre takes the fight with Silva or not, he still plans on making that dream a reality:
If that happens, the interim belt—here's the thing, I would like to face GSP just because of the competitor in me, but if he moves up, that thing around his waist is what I want more than anything. That UFC belt is the most important thing in my career, and nothing else matters but that.