Ahead of Johny Hendricks UFC 207 scrap with Neil Magny at the end of 2016, the former welterweight champion revealed that he could very well be on his way to retirement depending on how the fight played out. Unfortunately for Hendricks, not only did he miss weight by three and a half pounds, he then dropped a unanimous decision to Magny.
The loss made it three straight for Johny Hendricks, who is now just 1-4 since losing the title to Robbie Lawler at UFC 181 in 2014. In addition, Hendricks missed weight for his two most recent bouts, and was forced out of a fight with Tyron Woodley due to an emergency from a weight-cut complication. This has led to UFC President Dana White forcing Hendricks to make the jump to middleweight, where he will fight Hector Lombard on February 19th. Ahead of that fight, Hendricks has revealed that he could very well retire depending on how his move to middleweight goes.
He spoke to Submission Radio:
“… Yes, I said if I lost I would (retire). … (But) if I fight good at ’85, well then I’m gonna stay there. But if I don’t do good, then guess what? It’s time. I had my fun, I had my time. It’s not worth going out there and training for 12 weeks and then being done, or going out there and just losing. And that’s really what it’s about. Here’s one thing that really leads me to believe that fight was mine – did you hear the boos after that? The whole crowd thought I won that fight. So I don’t want to leave whenever the fans think I’ve won. That’s really where my head’s at: They believe I won that fight, so I’m gonna do one more. I don’t care about retirement.”
“There’s a time to listen to your body and there’s a time not to, and I’ve decided not to listen to it for the last year,” Hendricks said. “I’ve wanted to move up to ’85 for over a year now. But I still know that I could compete, I know that welterweight was a great division for me, but now it’s not. If I can’t go out to perform, if I’m performing at my worst, and I keep losing, what does that do for me? That’s just a waste of camp and a waste of time and a waste of money.
“… Now it’s really time for me to listen to my body and say, ‘Hey, something’s got to give.’ I’ve either got to retire or I’ve got to move up. And why not? I’ve got one fight left on my contract, why not see what happens at 185?”
Only time will tell if the former champ is able to experience a career resurgence at middleweight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/26/2017.