Fighter of the Week: Johny Hendricks
Written by Nick Portella
On this week’s edition of Fight of the Week, we will be looking at Johny “Big Rigg” Hendricks. Big Rigg is coming off a great performance against MMA veteran Hector Lombard on February 19, 2017 at UFC Fight Night in Halifax. Johny landed 44% of his totals trikes and 37% of his significant strikes to win a decision.
Hendricks was born and raised in Oklahoma, and was a wrestling standout. He was a 3x Oklahoma state champion and 2X national champion in high school. He went on to wrestle at Oklahoma State under the legendary coach Jon Smith. He continued to excel in college. He was a 4x All-American. He won national titles his sophomore and junior year. His senior year, he was a perfect 34-0 before losing in a big upset in the national finals.
Hendricks jumped to MMA after wrestling and joined coach Marc Laimon’s Team Takedown camp. Hendricks made his professional debut in September 2007 at Masters of the Cage where he won his first professional fight. Hendricks would later join the UFC after starting his career 5-0. Hendricks would go 10-1 in the UFC before getting a chance to win the UFC welterweight championship from Georges St. Pierre. Hendricks would lose a decision to St. Pierre in a fight that most scored for him.
Hendricks would win the vacant title in his next match against Robbie Lawler, when St. Pierre relinquished the title. Hendricks would lose the title in a rematch against Lawler in another controversial decision.
Hendricks would beat Matt Brown in his next fight, but would go on to have a slay of weight cutting issues and losses. He would miss weight for 3 of his next 4 scheduled fights. During this span, Hendricks would drop three fights in a row to Stephen Thompson, Kelvin Gastelum and Neil Magny. After missing weight and losing fights at welterweight, Hendricks made the move up to middleweight and fought Hector Lombard.
The Hendricks of old showed up for this battle and got him the win. With a record of 18-6 he has fought the best of the best throughout his career. He has notable wins against Ruthless Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. Coming off of a three fight losing streak and in a new weight class this veteran looked much improved. Could there be a run for the middleweight belt in his future?
Big Rigg is back in action and is still looking to find his old knock out power. If he finds that power at middleweight, one punch and the fight could be over. He has also excelled on his foot work with top notch head movement. Let’s give Johny a hand for a stand out performance while fighting on an excellent fight card.