Johny Hendricks to GSP: 'If you can't handle the stress of being champion, give it up'

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Johny Hendricks reacts to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre's statement that he needs some time away from the Octagon

When the scorecards were read for UFC 167's main event, Johny Hendricks expected his hand to be raised in victory, ending the title reign of Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. When the split decision went St-Pierre's way, extending his run to nine consecutive title defenses, Hendricks fell to his hands and knees while his cornermen reacted in shock behind him.

Moments later, with the UFC welterweight title belt draped over his shoulder, St-Pierre announced that he needed to take some time off to deal with personal issues. At that point, any hope of an immediate rematch between the top two fighters in the 170-pound division seemed doubtful.

UFC president Dana White reacted to St-Pierre's in cage bombshell with bombast, telling Ariel Helwani:

He (St-Pierre) owes it to the fans, he owes it to this company, and he owes it Johny Hendricks to come in and do that fight again.

The guy is going to go home, he's going to rest, he's going to heal, and he needs to fight Johny Hendricks again.

After the fight, St-Pierre sat at the post-fight press conference and expanded on his reasons for needing time away from the sport:

I can't sleep at night now, I'm going crazy. I have issues, man. I need to relax. I need to get out for a while. I don't know what I'm going to do.

Hendricks recently offered his opinion on St-Pierre's post-fight comments, speaking on AXS TV's Inside MMA, a chuckling Hendricks said:

Dude I've got three kids. You know what I'm saying? Talk about sleep? Are you kidding me? Everybody's got problems in life. That's the way it is. If you can't handle the stress of being champion, give it up. I'll gladly take that stress.

Like I said, I've been in situations probably worse than he has. You don't complain, you suck it up and move forward. Everybody in life has a hard time. There's nothing in life that's easy.

That's the way I look at it. We chose this life. We chose to get in the Octagon. We chose not to sleep. I don't know how many times I went to bed at five or six in the morning, waking up at ten, running four miles because I wanted to beat GSP that bad. Dude, who cares, I chose that life.

Tell yourself whatever you need to. Just get back in that octagon with me. I can't wait for the rematch.

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