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Johny Hendricks cleared to start training, wants Robbie Lawler but will ‘throw with whoever's the No. 1 contender’

UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks cleared to begin training and is looking forward to working his way through the contenders in the division.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

With his time on the sidelines close to running out, Johny Hendricks is looking forward to getting back into the octagon to defend his title.

The welterweight champion may have won the title very recently in his last octagon outing, but he believes that contest against Robbie Lawler served as his first title defense because he was robbed of the title against the division's former kingpin Georges St-Pierre. Now that he has recovered from the bicep tear, he is particularly interested in seeing how he would perform against Lawler if he were 100% healthy.

"Don't get me wrong, I'll throw with whoever's the No. 1 contender," Hendricks told The MMA Fight Corner. "I'll fight them. I'm not going to run away from that, but there's a part of me that wants to see how I can do against Robbie Lawler, healthy. Then again, there's the part of me that wants to sort of train for Matt Brown or Rory MacDonald or whoever else is out there."

Regarding Rory MacDonald, Hendricks believes he has already faced him because of his bout with St-Pierre, whom he considers to be essentially the same fighter.

"I think I have faced [MacDonald]," said Hendricks. "It was [Georges St-Pierre]. It is GSP. The only difference is [MacDonald] has been able to control people a little bit differently than GSP has. He uses his jab by doing that. If you watch the GSP fights, really good strikers, really explosive guys, they try to use that jab to do that. What they don't understand is that they're not going to hit me with that jab. They're not going to keep me at bay with that jab."

Transcription taken from

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