Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks made the decision to leave the welterweight class to move up to the middleweight division due to weight issues. His last two bouts at welterweight saw him miss weight. His debut at middleweight was against Hector Lombard, which saw Hendricks win. After the fight, Hendricks went on record by saying that the weight cut was the easiest of his life and that middleweight was his new home.
This leads us to this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, which he was placed in the co-main event against Tim Boetsch. Once again, Hendricks missed weight by weighing at 188 pounds.
Hendricks recently appeared on Submission Radio (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting) to talk about the fight and missing weight. He explained that though he was easily on target to make the weight, he came down with a high fever during fight week. Thus, it was difficult for him to cut weight.
“Wednesday, something happened, and I started running a fever. Thursday, Friday I’m sitting there going, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It’s funny because I love fans, but I think that they’re the most ill-informed people and the reason that I say that is because if y’all are feeling sick, what do y’all do? If you are sick what do you get to do? You get to take a day off.
“My family was going through sickness for three weeks prior to the fight, and I laughed because I didn’t get it. I was super excited. Awesome, nothing’s going on. Until you start cutting weight. I showed up, and I think I was 13 [pounds] over and I drank 10 pounds of fluids that day, and at that point, you’re fighting not only the weight but also your body. It just sucks because 185 is not that hard to make but whenever you’re sick, it is. You’re body’s not gonna give up anything and the next thing you know, you’re trying to turn right around in 48 hours and fight for your life.”
As seen in the fight, Hendricks was stopped by Boetsch in the second round after Boetsch landed a head kick and followed up with strikes. Prior to the stoppage, the bout was competitive with Hendricks having his moments though being unable to impose his game plan.
“Whenever I was in there, things weren’t clicking like they should have. I saw a lot of openings, I got his timing down. The only thing he really hit me with was that push kick until he rocked me with that kick. . . Whenever I was sitting there, I thought I was still moving, and my coach told me, ‘No, you literally just stood still.’ I really don’t know what I was thinking. Everything he did, I knew. I saw everything. There was nothing he could do, and then he threw that high kick and finished it so kudos to him.”
Hendricks stated that he was put in a situation where none of the options were good. Either he could give into the illness and pull out of the fight or do what he did which was to miss weight and be at less than 100 percent for the fight.
“It was just like, you’re running a 102 temperature for two days, and you’re playing it that way. You’re running a high temperature, and you’re trying to do everything you can. You’re not trying to kill fluids, but you’re trying to keep your fluids up a little bit so that way you can fight it. I pretty much just told the commission, ‘Guys, I have to fight this fight.’ Then [the temperature] broke on Friday, late, late Friday like 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning and whenever it broke we tried to hit it hard to get that last little bit off but at that point my body was just saying, ‘Hey, we’re just trying to survive at this point.’
“As I said, it’s not hard to make 85. That’s why I think it’s funny these people are like, ‘Oh he missed weight again.’ Well, you know what, you have no idea. Any time you get sick you go to the hospital and what do they do? They put you in IVs and hydrate you up. Why? Because fluids help you fight the sickness. So that’s really what I was trying to do. I was trying not to put on a lot of weight [but also] if I don’t break that sickness, what do I do? Then I don’t get to fight. Then you just wasted 10 weeks of camp for nothing. So you’re in a catch 22.”
At the end of the day, Hendricks decided to fight while dealing with the illness and take the fight. While Hendricks doesn’t have a good track record with making weight, he claims that he won’t miss weight again due to middleweight being a breeze to make.
“185 is so easy to make. Right now if they said, ‘You have to fight next week,’ I could make it.”