UFC’s Johny Hendricks Winning Fights in the Cage and in World of Warcraft
1. Let’s get right into it – how is training going for Josh Koscheck?
JH: It’s going great, it’s only been a couple days but I am sore and getting focused like I should be.
2. When you look at the break down between you and Josh, where do you see the advantages and disadvantages?
JH: I don’t think there are any cons, my goal is to get to the belt. To get to that, you have to fight those kind of people. So I thought the opportunity was all positive.
3. What’s your take on the UFC welterweight picture, where do you see yourself in there?
JH: I see myself right there – one win away hopefully. If I can go in there and do a good show in this fight I know that I’m gonna be right there to get the belt. And it’s sort of messed up because a couple guys are out, but other than that I think it’s great.
4. Your last fight you knocked out Jon Fitch in an incredible 12 seconds. Do you feel like that fight changed your life? Think more people know your name?
JH: Yes. I knew what I could do and I believed in myself. Whenever I was sitting there and I got that opportunity, I knew I couldn’t waste it. There are some tough, tough guys in the division. With a tough division, you have to go in there and do the best you can with an opportunity like that. That opportunity came at me and I thought there were two things that can happen. 1 – You can get swallowed up by the pressure and expectations and who you’re fighting. 2 – You can take that and make it your own.
5. Do you feel the reaction from the fans is different now?
JH: A little bit yes, I do. I think that’s what it’s all about – getting your name out there and not only trying to put on good fights for the fans, but also telling yourself to think it’s a win-win situation. Whenever I look at my fans – I want to be nice to them and talk to them. Because if they want me to do good, I know I have other things to fight for in there.
6. Many successful fighters, yourself included, come from a wrestling background. What is it about wrestling that makes such great fighters?
JH: The desire and the will to do whatever you can to get your hand raised. We were born and bred from very young to be independent. It’s just me vs this guy. If you do good and win the coaches get the credit, but if you lose it’s because you went out there and didn’t do what they wanted you to do. That’s the way I look at things, but it’s something we have been doing since we were 5 years old.
7. Talk to me about your team, Team Takedown, what have they done for you and what do they mean to you?
JH: They were right there to help me with the transition from wrestling to fighting. All I had to do was workout. It was like college without having to go to school. Think about how good some wrestlers could be if they didn’t have to go to school – if we could have just focused 24-7 on wrestling only. I look at that and think, “man I wish I could have had that opportunity then.” That’s how big Team Takedown has been to getting me to where I am. A lot of other guys have to work out then work a job. I get to do four hours a day of a job [training] and that’s it.
8. Okay when you’re not training I know you love hunting – have you been able to get in any good hunts this year?
JH: What I do is I’ll pick one day every three weeks. It will be either a Saturday or Sunday after church and I’ll go. Right now it’s coyote and hog hunting. Even if I don’t shoot anything, the reason I like hunting is because you’re out in the middle of nowhere and the only thing you think about is where should I sit up next to to be able to call in a coyote…or am I even in the right spot to call in this coyote. Nothing else matters but that. It’s a good way to take the ease off the thoughts of fighting.
9. And what about your other favorite hobby, video games? What have you been playing lately?
JH: I have been playing World of Warcraft, but lately I haven’t been playing too much. I’ve been coming home and doing a bunch of house work and stuff. But I’m about to get back into it since it’s camp time. Now that I have two kids, the only time I get to play is ten [at night] to two or three in the morning.
10. You have two young daughters. What would you say if they grew up and told you they wanted to be female fighters?
JH: I won’t have my daughters do it just because that’s why I’m doing it. I’m making my sacrifices so that one day, good Lord willing, they don’t have to worry about that. That’s my goal and something I want to accomplish. Some of these people, they don’t have all that stuff on their shoulders. I was raised where I didn’t have a lot of money ,so now that I am able to do some stuff for my daughters, I don’t want them to be raised like that. If I was raised differently I wouldn’t be where I’m at, so thank God for that. But I don’t want my daughters to have to do the game planning and the sacrifices that I have to do.
If they come to me and say, ‘Dad, I’ve tried everything. I want to do fighting.’ Well, then that’s something I can’t keep them from doing. I will help them and train them myself. But if they come to me and say, ‘Dad, thanks for doing that. I would never want to do that.’ I’d be very grateful.
Johny Hendricks fights Josh Koscheck on May 5th at UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.