Johny Hendricks has finally moved to the middleweight division, and it sounds like the former welterweight champ will be retiring, if he can’t produce results at 185.
The decorated wrestler has had trouble making 170 in recent years, and most recently, Hendricks came in over weight for a bout with Neil Magny. Hendricks ended up losing the tightly contested bout by unanimous decision, which was his third straight defeat.
Hendricks talked about retirement prior to that fight, but following the loss, he decided to move up to 185. Up next, he’ll take on the heavy handed Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105, February 19th. Recently Hendricks appeared on “Submission Radio“, and while discussing his future, the 33 year-old said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“… Yes, I said if I lost I would (retire). … (But) if I fight good at ’85, well then I’m gonna stay there. But if I don’t do good, then guess what? It’s time. I had my fun, I had my time. It’s not worth going out there and training for 12 weeks and then being done, or going out there and just losing. And that’s really what it’s about. Here’s one thing that really leads me to believe that fight was mine – did you hear the boos after that? The whole crowd thought I won that fight. So I don’t want to leave whenever the fans think I’ve won. That’s really where my head’s at: They believe I won that fight, so I’m gonna do one more. I don’t care about retirement.”
There you have it. Hendricks also reported in the interview that the Lombard bout is the last on his current contract, so it’s not too surprising to hear the retirement talk. If Hendricks loses, it would be his fourth straight defeat, and there’s certainly a chance he wouldn’t be offered a new deal. If Hendricks can defeat Lombard, who is a ridiculously dangerous opponent, then he’ll definitely be in a much better bargaining position.