Saturday, April 11, 2009

From MMA's big show to "MMA Big Show," Josh Hendricks starts to rebuild

Originally posted on

Just five months ago, heavyweight Josh Hendricks (15-5) was truly living out his dream.

Hendricks spent a month training with his hero, former UFC champ Randy Couture, and was preparing to make his UFC debut after six years in the sport. But just 61 seconds into his UFC 91 bout with Gabriel Gonzaga, everything changed.

"Obviously things didn't go the way I really hoped," Hendricks recently told ( "It was a little tough to swallow."

After some brief clinch work with Gonzaga, Hendricks was floored with a devastating right hand. The bout was quickly halted, and Hendricks received his walking papers from the organization.

Hendricks said he was a bit surprised he wasn't asked back to the UFC, and he admitted that nerves played a major role in his performance.

"I thought I would at least get a second fight," Hendricks said. "Everybody talks about the nerves and the things that you have with [a first UFC] fight. I thought, 'No, not me.' But you know what? I did.

"I kind of got shook loose right there before the fight. I spent a month training with Randy, and those guys out there (at Xtreme Couture) had my confidence real high. I really thought I was going to do well. But I went out there and melted like a dollar-store candle. I really thought I'd get another poke at it but evidently not."

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