Report | Former UFC champ Johny Hendricks booked for bareknuckle battle with Bellator vet Brennan Ward

Johny Hendricks

Back in June, former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks announced plans to retire from mixed martial arts. Earlier this month, long-time Bellator welterweight contender Brennan Ward announced that he was retiring from MMA as well.

As it turns out, both of these knockout artists’ retirement plans seem to apply strictly to MMA. According to Adam LeBarr of FightBookMMA, the pair will end their respective retirements to fight in the main event of World Bareknuckle Fighting Federation’s (WBKFF) debut event on November 9th.

The card will also feature a showdown between UFC middleweight veterans Phil Baroni and Chris Leben, a showdown between former football player Shawne Merriman and Mike Bourke, and a $100,000 lightweight tournament featuring names like Joe Stevenson, Isaac Vallie-Flagg, and Melvin Guillard — though the latter can probably be ruled out due to his recent legal troubles. 

Johny Hendricks last fought in November, when he was knocked out by undefeated Brazilian contender Paulo Costa in a middleweight bout. This loss was preceded by another knockout loss at the hands of long-time middleweight contender Tim Boetsch. In his next most recent fight, Johny Hendricks defeated Hector Lombard in his middleweight debut. He left the sport with an 18-8 overall record.

Brennan Ward, meanwhile, has not fought since he was submitted by Fernando Gonzales in August of 2017. In his next most recent fight, he was put down by a brutal flying knee courtesy of Paul Daley. His last win occurred in November of 2016, when he knocked out Saad Awad. He retired from MMA with a 14-6 overall record.

Who do you think will win when Brennan Ward and Johny Hendricks duke it out sans gloves in November?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/17/2018.