Former UFC Champ Johny Hendricks Announces His Retirement from Fighting

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has decided to call it a career after announcing his retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Wednesday.

Hendricks hasn’t fought since last November and his contract with the UFC had come to an end, although he was still in negotiations on a possible return to the Octagon while attempting to get back down to 170 pounds.

It appears those plans have been scrapped as Hendricks announced his retirement when speaking to MMAJunkie.

“I’m done. I’m retiring. I’m getting out of the MMA world,” Hendricks said. “I’ve been thinking about this long and hard for a while. I’m going to get back to my roots. I’m going to start coaching at All Saints. I coached a little bit last year. I’m going to start coaching there and do those kinds of things.

“I’ve made this decision about two weeks ago but I prayed about it and I just wanted to make sure I was going to be OK with it.”

Hendricks said he now plans on coaching wrestling and he’s at peace with his decision after an athletic career that stretches back more than two decades.

“I feel like I have a big release now,” Hendricks explained. “I’ve competed since I was five years old, I’ve been a competitor, I’ve been cutting weight, I’ve been doing hard training since I was 13 years old, maybe sooner than that. So for 20 years of my life, I’ve been at the grind of mental, physical, trying to keep yourself in tip top shape.”

Hendricks certainly endured the toughest part of his career in recent years after losing the UFC welterweight title back in 2014 in a split decision to Robbie Lawler. Following that defeat, Hendricks went 1-3 at welterweight while failing to make weight during two of those fights, which prompted his move up to 185 pounds.

Unfortunately things didn’t get much better for Hendricks from there as he went 1-2 as a middleweight including back-to-back TKO losses inside the Octagon.

Prior to a tumultuous run that saw Hendricks go just 2-5 after losing the welterweight title, he was a fearsome competitor with one of the most impressive runs in recent UFC history.

Hendricks won six fights in a row including victories over Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch before facing Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title in 2013. Hendricks ended up losing a very close split decision to St-Pierre, who then later vacated the belt to take a sabbatical from fighting.

Hendricks then went onto win the title in an epic five round battle with Robbie Lawler before falling to him in their rematch nine months later.

Now Hendricks retires from the sport with an overall record of 18-8 with all but three of his professional fights taking place in either the UFC or WEC.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.