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UFC 171: Johny Hendricks considered pulling out of Robbie Lawler fight due to elbow injury

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The UFC 171 main event could have been waved off before it even commenced...

Sarah Glenn

Talk about a close call.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks confirmed today that he almost pulled out of his UFC 171 welterweight championship fight against Robbie Lawler on March 15, 2014, in Dallas, Texas, because he injured his elbow in training.

A week before the fight.

"Bigg Rigg" was asked about a possible bum shoulder during The MMA Hour, after hearing Hendricks speak about it with his corner in between rounds. As it turns out, it wasn't his shoulder but his elbow, which he injured just days away from the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

The details weren't disclosed; however, it was bad enough for Hendricks to contemplate pulling out of the bout.

"It's my elbow. It happened actually a week-and-a-half before, and it happened in the first round."

Hendricks spoke for himself and his camp when asked about pulling out of the fight.

"We thought about it. But, that world championship means that much more."

On the flip side, the Oklahoma-born champion knew he couldn't waste his second chance at the welterweight title, after losing a controversial decision to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167.

"Throwing a hook. And whenever I threw a hook it just spazzed out. I don't know what happened. I felt my arm actually pop. We'll see what happens."

Hendricks also touched base on when he thinks he will return to UFC, eyeing a comeback sometime between September and October of this year.

For more on UFC 171 including live play-by-play for "Hendricks vs. Lawler," as well as videos, recaps, and more, click here.