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.