The sting of losing the UFC welterweight title still doesn’t sit well with Johny Hendricks.
Hendricks could have waited for a rematch with Lawler later this year, but opted instead to fight – and defeat – Matt Brown in March.
Now, “Bigg Rigg” is hoping he has done enough to warrant another crack at wearing the championship.
“I out-punched him, I out-struck him, I took him down,” said Hendricks, during a recent interview with Submission Radio while discussing the loss. “To beat the champion, you’ve gotta really beat the champion. And I don’t think he did.
“I still feel like I won that fight.”
Hendricks (17-3) will sit and watch with the rest of the world when Lawler defends his belt against Rory MacDonald this July. Having been inside the Octagon for 30 minutes with “Ruthless,” and having previously fought MacDonald’s Tristar teammate Georges St-Pierre, he has a pretty strong understanding of what might go down.
“I think Rory (is going to win),” he said. “He’s got great coaches, he’s going to figure a way out. They’re game-planners.
“They’re guys that are going to do this, this and this, and they’re going to make sure that everything runs to a ‘T.'”
As for his former opponent, GSP, Hendricks isn’t sure if he will return to the Octagon or remain in retirement.
“There’s a part of me that sits there and says, ‘Yes, I’d love to have him back because I would like to fight him again,’ but then there’s also a part of me where you’re never going to be able to take away what he did.
“He did a lot of stuff for the sport and a lot of stuff for the welterweight division. There’s a part of me that says, ‘Hey, stay in retirement and let us decide to see who the next sort of GSP will be.’ That’s where my head’s at.”