After his close split decision loss to Robbie Lawler at last December’s UFC 181, former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks knew he needed to make some lifestyle changes in order to stay at the top of the world-class 170-pound arena.

“Bigg Rigg” recently spoke up to Submission Radio to detail his feelings about his title-losing bout, noting that he still believes he won the fight:

“I outpunched him, I out-struck him, I took him down.” “To beat the champion you’ve gotta really beat the champion, and I don’t think he did. I still feel like I won that fight.”

But he did not win on the judges’ scorecards, and a lot of that was most likely due to the fact that he faded in the championship rounds after a fast start in the first three. Hendricks knew he had to stop ballooning up to between 215-220 pounds prior to his fights. Having used famed nutrition guru Mike Dolce to help him make weight for years, he switched it up and took his nutrition regimen into his own hands when he signed on for a fast turnaround to face Matt Brown on the main card of Mar. 14’s UFC 185 from his hometown of Dallas.

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Hendricks said he has no problem with Dolce, it was just time to stop relying on his skills so much:

“We always called him ‘the miracle worker’ because he’d get me from 215 or 220 down to 170, and I think I relied too much on him. And this last weight cut or whenever I was using him, I was just like ‘you know what? I gotta do it by myself’. If I don’t do it by myself then I’m not going to make the changes.”

Indeed Hendricks found success managing his own diet, as he made weight with ease and beat the formerly rising Brown with a dominant unanimous decision at UFC 185. He accredited some of that success to portion control when eating:

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“Actually I’ve been eating healthy since my fight and I’m still waking up well under 200, and one thing I’ve learned is portion control. So for example if I eat pizza, instead of eating the whole thing, I eat three slices and then I put it up. Or if I go out to eat, I eat until I’m full, but not like over-full, and I think that’s sort of everybody’s problem is that whenever you’re paying for something, people are like ‘I wanna get it all down.”

Now Hendricks will await the winner of July’s UFC 189 co-main event between Lawler and Rory MacDonald as he hopes to sign on for a match with the winner. He may have to take another fight in the meantime, but Hendricks believes the touted young challenger will finally win the belt:

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“This fight I think Rory MacDonald (going to win); he’s got great coaches, he’s going to figure out a way. They’re game-planners. They’re guys that are going to do this, this, and this, and they’re going to make sure that everything runs to a ‘T.’”