Johny Hendricks Plots Return To Welterweight

Johny Hendricks is currently a free agent after finishing up his current contract with the UFC, but in a new interview he’s indicates that he expects to return to the Octagon and plans to move back down to welterweight in the process.

“I’m a free agent,” Hendricks told MMAjunkie Radio. “I am up for grabs. The UFC stills wants me. They want me back at 170 [pounds] and I agree. If you’re gonna keep giving me these big ol’ 85 pounders, I’ve got to get back down to 170.

“I’ve got to fight back to what I want to get to. I’m not that type of guy that says, ‘No, I think I deserve more.’ I will get back to where I want to be at the welterweight division. I really do believe that. I’m starting to get faster. I’m working with a trainer here, Ryan. He’s been working on my fast-twitch movement, he’s been working on my speed – quickness, explosion – and whenever I’m doing these things and then I go back and train boxing or whatever, everyone can see that I’m getting quicker and my weight is coming down.

“Right after my last fight I emailed them saying, ‘Hey, I want to go back to 170. Obviously, y’all don’t want me at 185. I understand.’ And realistically, the only reason I went up to 185 was because I thought I had one more fight on my contract. So I go, screw 170, I’m gonna go to 85 and then we can renegotiate a contract.

“Needless to say, I got two big ol’ boys and it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. But after fighting those fights, it really brought back something in me because I was like, ‘Dude, they don’t kick that hard.’ I still hurt all those 85-pounders with my punches and with my kicks. So if I can hurt 85-pounders, what can I do if I go back to 170? It sort of built my confidence back up to where I believe in my power, I believe in what I can do.”

If it does happen then it’s a risky move as ‘Big Rigg’ failed to make the 170lb limit in his previous two fights in that weight class, and prior to that also had a fight with Tyron Woodley scrapped during fight week due to being rushed to hospital after a weight-cut gone wrong.

However, it should also be noted that Hendricks has also managed to miss weight at middleweight too and he’s currently on a two-fight losing streak there, so forcing him to fight there hasn’t exactly solved the problem.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.