Johny Hendricks knows why he has struggled to make weight as of late.
The former UFC welterweight champ has been on a three-fight losing skid since his 2015 fight with Matt Brown. In two of those losses he failed to meet the 171-pound limit, also having a scheduled fight with Tyron Woodley scrapped from UFC 192 after ‘Bigg Rig’ was hospitalized due to complications from attempting the cut.
Now after being defeated by Neil Magny at UFC 207 via unanimous decision this past December, Hendricks has made the decision to try his hand at 185 pounds when he takes on Hector Lombard at UFC Halifax this weekend (Sat. February 19, 2017). The former 170-pound champ recently joined the UFC Unfiltered podcast (quotes via MMA Mania) with Matt Sera and Jim Norton and took a look back on his recent troubles, pointing to the unpopular IV ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as a key reason for his weight issues:
“Making 170 isn’t fun, it was never fun,” said Hendricks. “It took a toll on me mentally and physically to where I wasn’t enjoying this, fighting wasn’t fun. But I knew I needed to do that, but, there is a part of me that knew I had to go to 185 once the IV ban came in.”
At the moment Hendricks is 12 pounds away from making the middleweight limit and is enjoying eating whatever he wants along with great training sessions:
“I’m 12 (pounds) over right now. I’m eating, drinking whatever I want and enjoying life again. I am also enjoying training. I’m training twice a day,” he said. “In the past, there were times where I had to pick and choose which workouts you had to go hard at because you wouldn’t be able to do that for the second one. Especially when you’re cutting weight.”
Hendricks will make his middleweight debut against Hector Lombard, who is currently on a two-fight losing streak since making his Octagon return following a suspension. The Cuban’s most recent bout saw him suffer a hellacious second round knockout to Dan Henderson in his own debut at 185 pounds.
‘Bigg Rig’ noted that he originally thought his bout with Lombard would take place at welterweight, but was pleasantly surprised when he realized Lombard had already moved up and the fight would be at 185:
“He used to be a welterweight, so I though I had to fight him there. He moved up. And with me wanting to move up, too, it came to light perfectly for me and what I want to do. like I said, I do believe I have the power to be at ’85.”
If Hendricks is unable to snap his current losing spell it will mark his fourth straight loss. Do you think he could be facing retirement or being cut if he loses once again?