Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight kingpin Johny Hendricks ultimately has all the tools to recapture his belt, but if his weight issues continue, "Bigg Rigg" may never get the chance to return to the title spotlight.
When he first captured the title, defeating Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision at UFC 171, Hendricks nearly lost his opportunity to fight for the belt, as he was forced to make weight on his second attempt.
In his rematch with "Ruthless," Hendricks seemed gassed later on in the affair, which allowed Lawler to steal momentum and ultimately take the title back to American Top Team with him.
After the grueling rematch at UFC 181, "Bigg Rigg" admitted a botched weight cut made his body fail him in the latter half of the title fight. Hendricks took it a step further just days later when he indicated he would either move up to the middleweight division -- or retire -- following another poor weight cut.
With weight-cutting guru Mike Dolce on his side, many have wondered what Hendricks was doing wrong while so many others prospered under Dolce's techniques. In order to set the record straight, Dolce spoke with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, and discussed what exactly causes Hendricks to have such difficulty making the 170-pound limit.
"Johny Hendricks has such problems with his weigh-ins, because he balloons up in the offseason. He carries too much body fat. It's extremely unhealthy to dehydrate the muscles, where you can't dehydrate the body fat. So it comes out of all the vital areas of the body and that causes all these poor performances."
"You don't deserve to beat these guys if you're not living the same lifestyle. Talent and a hard punch is only gonna get you so far. You gotta earn the victory long before the fight."
Harsh words from Dolce, but ultimately he is right.
If Hendricks does not get his act together quickly, he may never earn a trilogy title bout with Lawler.
Considering "Bigg Rigg" has Matt Brown to worry about at UFC 185 this March in Dallas, he better have his priorities straight if he plans on another title run.