Johny Hendricks is a former UFC Welterweight champion and had a great career in MMA before making the decision to retire.
His journey saw numerous highlights, including his memorable battles against top contenders and his reign as champion.
However, as with any athlete, Hendricks faced challenges along the way, some of which may have contributed to his ultimate decision to leave the sport.
In recent years, fans have been curious about what happened to Johny Hendricks, why he retired, and what he’s been up to since stepping out of the octagon.
This article aims to provide insight into these questions while offering a brief overview of Johny Hendricks’ MMA career and life after retirement.
Early Life and Wrestling Career
Johny Hendricks was born on September 12, 1983, in Ada, Oklahoma.
Hendricks became a three-time Oklahoma high school wrestling state champion and a two-time high school national champion.
His impressive final high school record stood at 101-5.
After high school, Hendricks continued his wrestling career at Oklahoma State University (OSU).
At OSU, Hendricks’ wrestling excellence shined as he earned several titles and accolades.
His achievements laid a strong foundation for his future in mixed martial arts, providing him with the crucial grappling and mental fortitude required to succeed in the UFC.
MMA Journey and Rise to Fame
Johny Hendricks’ journey in the world of MMA began when he transitioned from a successful collegiate wrestling career to combat sports.
In the UFC, Hendricks quickly gained recognition with a string of impressive victories, showcasing his powerful striking abilities alongside his strong wrestling base.
As he continued to excel, he eventually earned a title shot against Georges St-Pierre. He lost a very close decision and it actually led GSP to retire from the sport.
Hendricks’ performances drew the attention of both fans and fighters alike and established him as one of the top contenders in the division.
As his success grew, Johny Hendricks eventually captured the UFC Welterweight Championship in a thrilling fight against Robbie Lawler.
This accomplishment solidified Hendricks’ position as one of the best fighters in the sport at the time, marking a significant height in his MMA career.
Controversies and Challenges
Weight Cutting Issues
Johny Hendricks faced challenges with weight cutting throughout his career.
He consistently struggled to make the required limit for his fights, which raised concerns about his dedication to the sport.
Hendricks moved up to Middleweight after missing weight at Welterweight twice. But even then, Hendricks missed weight for his fight against Tim Boetsch.
The weight cut issues combined with having to fight bigger guys led Hendricks to go 1 – 2 at Middleweight.
Another controversy surrounding Hendricks was the allegation of using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).
Firas Zahabi, GSP’s coach, accused Johny of PED usage and even offered a $10,000 reward for testing. However, no solid evidence was found to support these claims.
Johny Hendricks has been tested by USADA, which is responsible for ensuring clean and fair competition in the UFC.
Although these controversies have tainted his reputation, it is essential to keep in mind that Hendricks has never been officially found guilty of any PED violation.
Retirement and Transition
Hendricks announced his retirement from MMA in June 2018 at the age of 34, after more than a decade of competition.
After experiencing a 1-5 slump that included three brutal knockouts and difficulties with weight management, Hendricks decided to step away from the sport that had been his life’s focus for years.
In late 2018, Hendricks briefly came out of retirement to fight in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships (BKFC). He was knocked out in the second round by Dakota Cochrane.
Today Johnny Hendricks has taken on several new roles, finding ways to remain active in the world of combat sports and beyond.
Coaching Career and Family Life
Since his retirement, Hendricks has shifted his focus to coaching wrestling and spending quality time with his family.
He has been using his wealth of experience in the sport to train and mentor the next generation.
As a coach and mentor, he aims to impart not only technical knowledge but also the importance of discipline, hard work, and commitment that led to his own success in the fighting world.
This transition has allowed him to strike a balance between his passion for the sport and devoting time to his family, which he felt was sorely needed during his competitive years.
Johny Hendricks Now
Johny Hendricks has been relatively active on social media, to stay connected with his fans and share updates on his post-MMA life.
His Instagram account is filled with photos and videos of him teaching wrestling to kids, offering motivational quotes, and spending time with his family.
In addition to his involvement with coaching, Hendricks has embarked on other projects as well.
Most notably, Hendricks is now an active Texas police officer.
Overall, Hendricks has taken his retirement as an opportunity to transition into a life focused on coaching, family, and community.
Johny Hendricks’s Legacy
Johny Hendricks made a significant impact in the world of MMA.
His bout against Lawler for the Welterweight title in 2014 remains an iconic moment in UFC history.
And despite the allegations and the challenges he faced in his career, Hendricks remains an influential figure in MMA for his earlier achievements and memorable matches.
His dedication to the sport and the impact he made in the Welterweight division ensures that his legacy in the world of MMA is not forgotten.