Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks once reigned as the UFC welterweight champion. With that being said, Bigg Rig is coming off a successful UFC middleweight debut which saw him pick up a decision win over Hector Lombard earlier this year.
Despite Hendricks success at 170, the former welterweight champion was forced to move up to 185 by UFC President Dana White after being unable to make the welterweight non-title fight limit of 171 pounds on several occasions. While it wasn’t long ago that Hendricks mentioned the possibility of retirement, he is now looking to build momentum at 185 when he fights Tim Boetsch on June 25th.
He spoke to MMAFighting about the situation, saying:
“The reason why I thought about retirement was because I didn’t know if the UFC would accept me moving to 185,” Hendricks said. “You put such a legacy at 170 that not just the UFC but the fans, are they going to accept that? Are they going to open their arms and all this kind of stuff. That’s why I wanted to retire, because fighting was not fun. It was 12 weeks of hell and you’re like ‘why am I doing this?’”
With a bit of a career resurgence at 185 pounds, Hendricks says the weight cut prior to his fight with Lombard was arguably the easiest one of his career:
“That was probably the easiest weight cut I’ve ever done,” Hendricks said. “I ate all the way up until Friday, I drank all the way up until Friday, and the only reason I didn’t drink Friday is I didn’t want to work it off. … I was sitting there and I was looking at my coach and I was like “man I gotta be doing something.” Usually I’m having to run, I’m having a lot of work to try to touch down. I’m so used to my body not wanting to give it up where, we’d do the bare minimum and get what we want, so that way I could do more and capitalize on it throughout the week.”
Only time will tell if the former champ is able to become a contender in his new weight division.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/25/2017.