UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has been absent from the Octagon for some time now, since beating Robbie Lawler for the 170-pound title in March at UFC 171.

The reason for the champion’s absence is due to him requiring surgery on his right biceps. Hendricks has successfully undergone the surgery and is now recovering. According to “Big Riggs” wrestling coach Kenny Monday, the 31-year old is currently “about 85 percent” and is in full training.

Monday told ESPN.com Hendricks would be ready to fight by the end of the year but he will most likely return in 2015:

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I know everyone would have loved January, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to work out,” Monday said. “I’m thinking he fights in February or March.”

Hendricks’ manager Ted Ehrhardt confirmed with ESPN that he is ready to fight this year but he is expecting his first title defence to headline a UFC pay-per-view (PPV). With the promotion already having its next six PPV main events booked up till the end of January, it’s unlikely we will see “Bigg Rigg” back in the Octagon in 2014.

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Ehrhardt said Hendricks was in favour of fighting earlier in the year but UFC officials wanted him to wait until he was fully fit before they started promoting his rematch against Robbie Lawler.

The last thing the UFC wanted was to start promoting a fight and have to postpone it if Johny had a setback,” Ehrhardt said. “He’s well past that point now but the schedule is full. He’s a main event fighter and all the main events are taken. It looks like he’ll fight sometime in February.”

ESPN also revealed a source close to “Ruthless” has said January “is not looking good” but added that Lawler should be ready to fight in February. Hopefully, everything will run smoothly with the booking and the two will be in the cage by March at the latest.

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When the two do meet again, who are you guys backing in the rematch?