Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, is only 36 years-old, which I’m sure sounds over-the-hill to guys competing in their mid-20s, but consider that Jorge Masvidal is 35 and Stephen Thompson is 37 and both combatants are ranked in the Top 5 of the division.
Hendricks (18-8) parted ways with UFC after a dreadful 2-5 run from 2015-17, with three of those five losses ending by way of brutal knockout. “Bigg Rigg” — who competed at both welterweight and middleweight — would later transition to the world of bareknuckle boxing, but the result was still the same.
“I know I can’t make 170 anymore, I had my body shut down too many times,” Hendricks told BJPenn.com. “But if they introduced a 175-pound division I’d be there and fight again. I’m too short to be a middleweight. Like I can do okay at middleweight but it would have to be good matchups for me. At 170 I can’t make it.”
The 5’9” Hendricks currently tips the scale at 220 pounds but insists that number is only five-to-ten pounds higher than his walk-around weight when he was competing at welterweight. “Bigg Rigg” missed weight multiple times throughout his UFC career, even after bumping up to 185 pounds.
“The bare-knuckle thing, I thought I would be fighting a good striker but I went through six opponents, my flight was changed,” Hendricks continued. “It was a pain in my butt. But if you look at those guys, they are getting cut a lot and they break their hands a lot. I don’t want to break my hands every fight, I don’t want to get cut. There are easier ways to make a living.”