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Johny Hendricks on Robbie Lawler rematch: I’m healthy, both arms are active, and I can do a lot more

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Bigg Rigg also said now that he rules the UFC’s welterweight division, he wouldn’t mind going toe-to-toe with former champion Georges St-Pierre for a second time. Robbie Lawler earned himself another chance at fulfilling his championship dreams this past weekend (Sat., July 26, 2014) by outpointing Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 12 — which went down inside SAP Center in San Jose, California — in a thrilling five-round main event. See the replay here. His win over The Immortal secured a rematch against current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, the man who edged him out to claim the vacant strap earlier this year at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas. Ruthless, however, isn’t the only one looking forward to the do-over, as Bigg Rigg himself wants to see just exactly how well he can do when he fights his heavy-hitting foe at full health, something he was unable to do in their first encounter due to a bum bicep. Hendricks broke it down during a recent interview on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting): I was torn between those two. One, yeah, I can face Robbie Lawler healthy, everything going right, get in there and see if it is as close a fight as it was the first time. Because I’m healthy, both arms are active, I can do a lot more. Then again, there’s a part of me that wanted to face somebody new, wanted to face Matt Brown. Because you get to face somebody new, you get try new skill sets and stuff like that, so it was like a 50/50 toss up on that one. But realistically, that’s why I’m not paid to think, I’m paid to fight. Indeed, Hendricks suffered a torn bicep (graphic pics here) during their Texas-sized showdown, which prevented him from fully unloading on Ruthless in the championship rounds. Still, that didn’t stop him from trying to knock Lawler’s block off and picking up the win. Johny explains: I was doing good combos, good leg kicks, and there are some other things that I can add into that. That fight was sometimes you just got to stand up and get a win. Sometimes they’re not pretty, sometimes you’re badly injured, you just got to get it done. That was that fight. Now it’s about going in there, reliving that fight, and seeing what I could have done better. The two will face off for the second time sometime in early 2015, which will allow Hendricks to fully heal and ensure that he has all of his weapons available to him for the much-anticipated rematch. It also gives Robbie some-much needed rest after fighting three times in four months in his quest for a second dance against Hendricks. While on the topic of rematches, Hendricks declared time and again that he never cared if he got another opportunity to face former division champion Georges St-Pierre for the title. Because as Hendricks often put it, the end goal was always to win the title, not to beat Rush. But now that he’s the champion, he wouldn’t mind a do-over against GSP now that the tides have changed. I’m not going to lie, I would like to fight him again, because now the tides are changed. And not only that, but that was my first five-round fight. I’m getting smarter, I’m getting better the longer I’m in the Octagon, and the more I hit that fifth round. I don’t want to continue to hit that fifth round, but it’s a good learning curve, that first one was. That’s why I was sort of excited to think I was going to get a rematch. And like I’ve been telling a lot of people, I’m not here to takeaway from GSP. He did lots of great things for the sport, lots of great things for the welterweight division. I want to build my own legacy. If he’s in it, that’s awesome, if he’s not it’s cool too, because I will never beat his legacy. I will never beat Matt Hughes’ or Chuck Liddell’s or Randy Couture’s. I’ve got to make my own dent in the welterweight division, my own way. While St-Pierre hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the Octagon, another fight against Johny will likely be a long ways from happening. Of course, if Lawler has his way, St-Pierre vs. Hendricks 2 will be a non-title fight.

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