Leading up to the UFC Welterweight Championship rematch between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler at UFC 181, rumors were floating around about Hendricks having issues with his weight cut for the bout, however no one realized just how big those issues were.
On Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” at MMAFighting.com, Hendricks informed host Ariel Helwani that he contemplated retiring from MMA after the second fight with Lawler due to issues stemming from his pre-fight weight cut.
“It was either [change my approach] or retire,” said Hendricks. “That’s how bad that weight cut was.”
The former UFC Welterweight Champion reportedly has a history of letting his weight get out of control in between fights, noting that he would get as high as 218 pounds during his off-season.
Now, however, Hendricks claims he finally understands that his previous approach to cutting weight has started to work against him.
“It sucks because the last couple fights have been where it’s been questionable, and it’s been half my fault,” said Hendricks. “I can’t do that weight cut. I can’t balloon up to 218 [pounds] and think that [Mike] Dolce can get me down to weight. That’s where I’m taking the responsibility.”
Hendricks continued, “I’m walking around at 195 [pounds], and I’m getting my muscle mass back, I’m looking to get my body weight back. It will also be better for me when I fight, because I’ll have my power back, my steam, and you feel like you’re hitting hard again. That makes me happy.”
Despite the fact that Hendricks is a large man for the UFC Welterweight division, mixed with the fact that he’s been having problems cutting down to the 170-pound class, the former champ is currently ruling out a move up to the UFC Middleweight division, noting that he has unfinished business to settle before that’s an option.
“I wanted to do things at Welterweight. That belt is waiting for me, and I want to get that thing back,” said Hendricks. “And if I do the right thing [and] I make the right sacrifices, good lord willing — I’ll get it back.”
Regardless, with a fresh approach to weight cutting in mind, Hendricks claims his weight won’t be an issue any longer, otherwise he’ll move up to 185 pounds or retire.
“Let’s just say it won’t ever happen again. If it does, than yes, i’ll have to be 185 or be done,” said Hendricks. “I don’t think my body can handle another one like that.”
While a date and venue has yet to be announced, it has been confirmed recently that Hendricks and Lawler will compete for the UFC Welterweight Championship for a third time, as a trilogy bout between the two is next up for each combatant.