Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks will make his middleweight debut at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 105 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, scheduled for Sun., Feb. 19, 2017 inside Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
And should he falter in his first fight at 185 pounds, which pits him against former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard, then “Bigg Rigg” will call it a career once and for all.
This time he really means it, according to his conversation with Submission Radio:
“Yes, I said if I lost I would (retire). But again, what I’m saying is, if I go out there and get beat up like I did the last two fights, you know, where I still can’t compete with those guys – which I clearly showed I can’t. Now I’ll be better, I think at 185. But like I said, if I go out there and I can’t compete, well I guess I can’t make 170, right? And I’m not going to try to ever again. It’s just too hard on my body. And if I fight good at 185, 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. And here’s one thing that really leads me to believe that 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. And that’s really where my head’s at, is that hey, they believe I won that fight, so I’m gonna do one more.”
If middleweight doesn’t work out, there’s always blanketweight.
Hendricks (17-6) dreamed of cleaning out the welterweight division and retiring as a successful middleweight. Then came a dreadful three-fight losing streak, including last December’s split-decision loss to Neil Magny, which was expected to send the former restaurateur into a permanent vacation.
So ... is this the last we’ll see of the bearded brawler?