Fighter of the Month: November 2012 – Johny Hendricks
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKa’ Jester
Fighter of the Month: Johny Hendricks
Event: UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit (November 17, 2012)
Opponent: Martin Kampmann
Result: KO (Round 1, 46 seconds)
There may be a lot of fans who disagree with this decision here, but trust that this was not an easy decision to make. The welterweight king Georges St-Pierre deserves to earn this reward just as much as anyone, but what Johnny Hendricks did to the comeback kid Martin Kampmann proved that this welterweight cannot be overlooked. November’s biggest story has to be Georges St-Pierre’s return to unify his championship with interim champion Carlos Condit, but it was Hendricks who shook the foundation of the welterweight division with one punch.
Coming into this fight, Hendricks was likely the underdog in most experts eyes; much like he has been in most of his fights. Hendricks is known as an accomplished collegiate wrestler, but you wouldn’t think it if you’ve seen his latest fights. It all started with his 12 second knockout over former #2 welterweight Jon Fitch back at UFC 141. No one would have thought that he could pull that off again 11 months later against one of the more durable fighters in the UFC in Martin Kampmann.
This fight was meant to establish a clear #1 contender for the winner of the GSP and Carlos Condit fight. No other welterweight has declared himself the #1 contender more than Johny Hendricks. What else does a fighter has to do? He shut down Martin Kampmann, who many would consider a more technical striker, within less than a minute. And when the punch landed, the way that Kampmann flew across the ring was near comical. Such a sight looked like something out of a kung fu film, and that punch alone should have cemented him as the #1 contender.
With two decisions, and three KOs all in the first round since his loss to Rick Story, Johny Hendricks has literally knocked down the door in the welterweight division. However, while it seemed like Hendricks would be the surefire #1 contender, it appears Dana White and Georges St. Pierre want Nick Diaz. Unfortunately, Johny Hendricks may get shafted in a fight he deserves. But here at PunchDrunkGamer we won’t rob Hendricks from a well-deserved award.
Congratulations Johny Hendricks for becoming PunchDrunkGamer’s November Fighter of the Month.
1. Georges St-Pierre (UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit – November 17, 2012) – GSP easily deserves this over any other fighter on this list, but it took Johny Hendricks 46 seconds to beat the man who defeated Carlos Condit by decision. Albeit that was back in 2009, Carlos Condit has grown as a fighter since then, and he was easily one of the toughest opponents that GSP had to face. This wasn’t a flashback of St-Pierre outwrestling his overmatched opponents. No, Condit brought his A game and St-Pierre still stifled the interim champion. Even though he nearly got his head kicked off midway through the fight, Georges St-Pierre came back and fought to a decision in the main event of UFC 154. What helped GSP remain on the top of this list is the fact that he came back from a serious injury and still remained just as dangerous as he was before the surgery. Welcome back, GSP!
2. Cung Le (UFC: Macao – November 10, 2012) – It goes without saying that this 40-year-old former Strikeforce middleweight champion may be getting wrote off a bit too early; likely primarily because of his age. Cung Le has been a dangerous fighter for a long time, and he proved in his fight against former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin that age and a well-placed right hook can put down anyone. Whether either fighter should consider hanging up the gloves, Cung Le proved that he still has the electricity to light up the Octagon.
3. Marlon Moraes (World Series of Fighting 1: Arlovski vs. Cole – November 3, 2012) – Maybe it is time to state that Miguel Torres is an afterthought in MMA, or maybe he has simply lost to former champions and could be future champions. Most would say that Torres has simply weathered too many storms in his 12 year pro career. Marlon Moraes gameplan was to take out the legs of Torres with thunderous leg kicks, and also put a stop to Torres’s patented ground game. His footwork may have been the most impressive, and it was the one thing that helped him stun Torres in the first round. Moraes scored the decision in a fight that was back and forth with the action and added a former WEC champion to his victim list.
4. Anthony Johnson (World Series of Fighting 1: Arlovski vs. Cole – November 3, 2012) – Johnson’s fight against D.J. Linderman started off rough. First, Johnson leg kicked the man in his prize possessions, and further down the stretch of the first round Johnson received a poke in the eye. Almost as if to say, “Not again” Anthony Johnson smashed Linderman in the head and laid him out face first on the mat. After being cut from the UFC for his weight issues, Anthony Johnson has put on some good performances that may have him knocking back on the UFC’s door. Another highlight reel knockout like this one may very well have him return to his former home.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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