Johny Hendricks was truly a welterweight champion in the world of MMA. Hendricks was a UFC Champion and was in his prime from 2009 up until his early retirement earlier this year. His last fight was at UFC 217 in November with a loss to middleweight Paulo Costa.
On The MMA Hour earlier this week, Hendricks revealed just how much the USADA’s new restrictions starting in 2015 affected his ability to perform. Hendricks credited the majority of his success prior to the introduction of the USADA rules use to IV bags. IV bags are able to supplement the body with vitamins and nutrients. Fighters especially need this when they cut extreme amounts of weight and deplete their bodies of the necessary energy to compete.
Hendricks had a 12-3 record before the implementation of the USADA rules, and then fell to 1-5 afterwards. He experienced a lot of trouble making weight and performing well once he actually got in the ring. Despite his negativity towards the USADA rules, he adhered to all of the requirements and always passed his tests. But it came at the cost of his success and career.
Hendricks ultimately saw his downfall in December of 2016 following his fight against Neil Magny. After extreme weight cuts to make it to the welterweight of 170 lbs., his kidneys shut down for multiple days and he had to go to the hospital. While he was discouraged from using any form of IV, this is really what his body needed to recover.
Now that his UFC days are over, Hendricks is moving towards bare knuckle boxing. He will debut his skills in this new form of competition on November 9th against Brennan Ward.
Hendricks said of his choice to move his focus,
“I’m just not in the sport to just be in a sport. Does that make sense? I can do other things. If I’m going to do it, I want to be the best… I’ve been wanting to find out for a while: How good is my striking? Because I’ve gone with some very, very talented boxers here in Texas, and it’s just been a dream of mine. I’ve been a huge boxing fan all my life. I grew up watching (Mike) Tyson, I grew up watching the old classics, and that’s sort of where my next pull led me.”
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons