Former UFC welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks retired from MMA earlier this year, but surprisingly he’s now decided to sign up for a bare knuckle fight with ex-Bellator fighter Brennan Ward.
The two fighters will go up against each other in a middleweight bout at the first ever World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) event in Wyoming on November 9th.
Hendricks is coming off back-to-back TKO stoppages against Tim Boetsch and Paulo Costa in 2017, which came at the end of his contract with the UFC, but he waited until June of this year to official announce that he was hanging up his gloves and intended to focus on coaching wrestling.
In total Hendricks had lost five of his past six fights at the time and had also suffered multiple issues with weight-cutting, including one instance in which he was forced out a fight against Tyron Woodley after being rushed to the hospital during fight week suffering from an intestinal blockage and kidney stones.
Hendricks will fight an experienced MMA campaigner in Ward, who just earlier this month announced that he too was retiring from MMA after having spent much of his career in the Bellator promotion.
Like Hendricks, Ward had experienced a rough patch in his career over the past few years, losing three of his last fights, including a first round knockout against Paul Daley and submission loss to Fernando Gonzalez in his last outing back in August of last year.