Johny Hendricks has admitted that Stephen Thompson was the better fighter during their main event bout at UFC Fight Night 82 on Saturday.
Hendricks, a former welterweight champion, was knocked out three-and-a-half minutes into the first round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While Hendricks came into the fight on a high after beating Matt Brown via unanimous decision at UFC 185 in March last year, the 32-year-old made no excuses following his loss to Thompson.
“Stephen Thompson was just a better man tonight,” Hendricks told reporters. “What can I say? He performed. I hesitated. I don’t hesitate usually. A lot of it goes into preparation. I switched camps and all these other things. But no excuses. He was just a better man.”
Hendricks added that the elusive Thompson baited him before landing the knockout blow that gave him his sixth consecutive win.
“In training camp, whenever I closed the distance on them, (training partners would) always fire back,” Hendricks said. “He didn’t fire back. He would continue to move. And then all of a sudden it was like, oh c’mon. I wanted him to fight, I wanted him to fight, I wanted him to fight. But I’m playing into his game.”
Having triumphed over a former welterweight champion, Thompson now has his sights set on a title fight with current champion Robbie Lawler.