Former UFC champion Johny Hendricks is moving the training camp for his pivotal bout at November 4’s UFC 217 to one of MMA’s most respected gyms.
News arrived from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani this evening that the former welterweight boss was headed to the famed Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the home of highly-regarded coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in addition to some of the most storied names in the sport such as former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit, whom Hendricks very narrowly beat at March 2013’s UFC 158 to earn his first title shot.
Hendricks also tweeted the following photo of him riding his “Bigg Rigg” to Jackson-Wink with a message saying he couldn’t wait to train:
— Johny Hendricks (@JohnyHendricks) October 1, 2017
Hendricks is set to take on surging middleweight prospect Paulo Borrachinha – a brutalizing, undefeated force who has finished each of his 10 mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts – so “Bigg Rigg” will need all the help he can get in what would seem like a must-win affair for the fading former champ.
He’s lost five out of his last seven bouts and has looked like a shell of the man who rose to prominence from 2011-2014 by defeating welterweight mainstays like Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit, in addition to taking legendary longtime former champion Georges St-Pierre the distance in a highly controversial split decision at November 2013’s UFC 167, a bout many still believe Hendricks won fair and square.
“Bigg Rigg” won the title from Robbie Lawler in a classic match at UFC 172 in March 2014 after St-Pierre vacated the belt, but since then it’s been extremely rough sledding for him as he’s dropped five of his last seven bouts. He was previously associated with coach Steven Wright at Team Takedown, but both left that camp in 2015.
Appearing at times drawn, gaunt, and even borderline disoriented as he missed the welterweight limit twice and even the middleweight limit once, Hendricks has repeatedly discussed retirement with yet another loss. The odds may tell you that’s a likely outcome against a freight train like Borrachinha, so Hendricks has finally found the right camp to prepare for a test like the former Junge Fight middleweight champion.
If he parlays that into a career-saving victory remains to be seen.