You may have seen the UFC's slick new commercial for next month's UFC 167 event (if not, view it below), headlined by welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defending his belt against top contender Johny Hendricks. There's a cool soundtrack, slow motion punches and flashy lights that were apparently placed too close to Hendricks and which gave the challenger second-degree burns.
Hendricks' manager Ted Ehrhardt told MMA Fighting that the lights used to film the commercial were placed too close to the fighter and they burned through his skin. As a result, Hendricks missed days of training while his skin healed.
"Ehrhardt said Hendricks tried to resume his training two days later, however, the burn was bothering him too much so he went to a doctor who prescribed an ointment to help heal it. Ehrhardt said Hendricks, who wasn't available to speak about the incident, missed one-to-two days of training, and the injury healed in a week.
'Johny never gets pissed off about anything,' Ehrhardt said. 'He was just mad that it was messing up his training, that's all.'"
Ehrhardt also said that the UFC apologized to Hendricks for the incident and the former national champion wrestler did not ask the promotion to pay for any of his medical expenses related to the burns. By the way, Ehrhardt says that Hendricks never gets sun burns in the summer time so, you know, those lights were pretty bright.
Fighters often talk about how promotional duties to hype fights can get in the way of the training they need to do in order to be ready to fight on game night. Hendricks may have just beaten all other fighters for promotional-related nuisances.
Remember, Hendricks won't be simply boxing at UFC 167 - he'll be fighting mixed martial arts against a man who is primarily known for his grappling and wrestling. Chances are, a big part of St. Pierre's strategy will be to put Hendricks on his recently burned back.
That's not really fair, but who should be blamed at this point and is there anything that could be done, short of postponing the match up and effectively ruining the UFC's 20th anniversary show. Hendricks himself has not yet commented on the situation and it isn't known if he ever considered pulling out of or postponing the fight because of his burns.
Hopefully Hendricks' bosses over at the UFC will throw some extra discretionary cash his way to begin to make up for his medical costs and, perhaps most importantly, his lost time training for the biggest fight of his career.
Check out the UFC 167 commercial below to see for yourself how Hendricks got burned:
Follow Elias on Twitter at @EliasCepedaSource: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mma-cagewriter/ufc-welterweight-contender-johny-hendricks-suffered-second-degree-194033969--mma.html
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