If you thought former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks was dangerous now, just wait until you see “Bigg Rigg” after the bearded brawler gets a few bareknuckle boxing bouts under his belt.
Hendricks recently retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) but was quickly presented with an opportunity to compete for World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation, where he’ll battle Bellator veteran Brennan Ward on Nov. 9 inside Casper Events Center in Wyoming.
“I’ve always wanted to try boxing,” Hendricks told MMAjunkie Radio (transcribed by Steven Marrocco). “It just one of those things that sounds like so much fun. All I have to do is work on my hands. And if I ever get back to the MMA world, just think how much better my hands are going to be. Don’t get me wrong – boxing isn’t easy. But the fact that all I have to do is focus on one thing instead of five, it’s made life a little easier.”
Life hasn’t been easy for the former collegiate wrestling standout. After losing five of his final six fights for UFC, which included a couple of botched weight cuts, Hendricks (18-8) was forced to close his beloved steak house.
Considering he just turned 35 back in September, there isn’t much time to make this thing work, and Hendricks expects to know more about his combat sports future — which could include a return to MMA — after his fight with Ward.