Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks retires from MMA


Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks seen here during his UFC 167 fight against Georges St-Pierre. (Isaac Brekken/AP)

Rashad Evans wasn’t the only former UFC champion to announce his retirement from mixed martial arts this week.

Former welterweight titleholder Johny Hendricks also decided to hang up his gloves.

“I’m done. I’m retiring,” Hendricks said during an appearance on MMAjunkie Radio Wednesday. “I’m getting out of the MMA world. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard for a while. … I made this decision two weeks ago, but I prayed about it and wanted to make sure I was going to be OK with it.”

The 34-year-old went 18-8 during his 10-year MMA career and earned notable wins over Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Jon Fitch, Martin Kampmann, Josh Koscheck, Matt Brown and Hector Lombard along the way.

Hendricks’s most memorable performance, however, was a controversial split decision loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167 in November 2013. Hendricks was 15-1 at the time and St-Pierre, the consensus greatest welterweight in MMA history, was riding an 11-fight winning streak. Hendricks and St-Pierre went back and forth for 25 minutes with two judges scoring it for St-Pierre and only one siding with Hendricks. The majority of fans watching believed Hendricks was the rightful winner.

Hendricks did become champion his next time out, though, when he faced Lawler for the vacant title. That opportunity presented itself because St-Pierre vacated the belt when he announced not long after UFC 167 that he’d be taking an extended leave of absence from the sport. Hendricks beat Lawler by unanimous decision at UFC 171 but he fight was close enough to where the UFC decided to run it back. Lawler won the immediate rematch at UFC 181 via split decision but the UFC decided not to book a trilogy bout and Hendricks was never the same fighter.

After losing the belt to Lawler, Hendricks dropped five of seven fights while struggling with weight issues. Hendricks most recently fought at UFC 217 this past November where he lost via technical knockout to Paulo Costa in a middleweight contest.

Hendricks said he plans on spending his time coaching high school wrestling near his home in Fort Worth, Texas and it doesn’t appear anything will be able to convince Hendricks to end his retirement early—with perhaps one exception.

“Even if you threw Georges St-Pierre at me, the world knows [I won that fight],” Hendricks added. “Realistically, I’m satisfied [with leaving MMA] unless they say, ‘Johny, here’s a million-dollar payday. Come fight this dude.’ You can’t turn that down. That would be stupid. But everything I set my mind to, I achieved it. That’s the gist of what I’m feeling at this moment and what I’ve been feeling the last month.”


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