UFC's JOHNNY HENDRICKS: From State Champion to Welter Weight Contender

USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma native, Oklahoma State champion, and UFC fighter, Johny looks to grab his first professional title.

Johny Hendricks finished up his high school career at Edmond Memorial with his 3rd Oklahoma state Championship. Hendricks' high school dominance, 101-5 record, and a National title (Ya. A high school National Title.), was merely a glimpse of what this 160lb kid could do.

Hendricks received a scholarship from Oklahoma State University and began his highly decorated collegiate carrier in 2003.  In his freshman year, Hendricks wrestled his way to a 10-0 record, providing quality depth to John Smith's legendary program. Johny started coming into his own in 2004, grabbing a starting roll on the squad, winning a couple of tournament titles, recording a victory over defending NCAA Champ Ryan Bertin, and finishing with a 37-7 record.

In 2005, Hendricks started the season as the starter at 165lbs.  Hendricks had a stellar season, finishing 27-4, including his first Big 12 championship and his first NCAA National Title, and two tournament wins.  During the finals of the National Duels, Johny defeated the 12th ranked Donny Reynolds with a pulled hamstring, a testament to his toughness.

Johny finished his career at OSU defending his National Title, finishing with a 29-1 record, winning all 18 of his dual matches, banged out 22 straight victories after a loss in the Reno Tournament of Champions.  Hendricks went 14-1 against ranked opponents, and became 19th all-time at OSU with a .886 career winning percentage.

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Johny "Big Rig" Hendricks stepped into the octagon for his first professional fight in 2007 with a TKO victory against Victor Rackliff.  Hendricks, described by UFC as an elite wrestler/power fighter, has punched his way to a 15-1-0 record, losing only to Rick Story in the UFC Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.  His resume touts 1 Submission, 8 KOs, and 6 decisions. In his UFC debut, Hendricks knocked out Amir Sadollah in 29 seconds with a bombardment of punches.  But Hendricks biggest win was against Jon Fitch, a true welterweight contender, with a huge left hand.

George "Rush" St-Pierre is one of the best fighters to ever step into the octagon.  GSP boasts a 24-2-0 record, 8 straight defending his current title, defeating the likes of BJ Penn, Matt Serra, and Matt Hughes.  St-Pierre is a well balanced fighter, defeating men with sharp attacks, well timed punches, and incredible ground game. GSP dodges 75% of punches thrown and blocks 88% of takedown attempts.  Insane numbers. He has successful with 75% of his takedown attempts, allowing him to control bouts and wear down opponents.  GSP is extremely disciplined and prides himself in his rigorous training and conditioning practices.

Saturday, November 16th, Johny Hendricks will step into the octagon for his first title bout.  Hendricks plans to bring in his heavy hands, elite wrestling experience, and rugged toughness to take down the decorated GSP, who is flirting with retirement. Hendricks' heavy handed knockout power, coupled with his wrestling pedigree is expected to test GSP.

This Saturday is huge for Oklahoma State, traveling to Austin to continue down the road towards a Big 12 title and second BCS bowl appearance.  Johny Hendricks steps into the spotlight on the main card for his first welterweight title bout, and hopefully his first welterweight title.

I'm putting my money on Hendricks, not only because of his skills, but because of his attitude.  When asked what his favorite fighting technique was, his answer?

"Punching people in the face."

(If that video doesn't get you jacked up, you're dead inside.)

GO POKES!!

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