At UFC 167, Johny Hendricks gave then welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre all he could handle. Even though St-Pierre picked up the win on two of the three judges’ scorecards, many people felt that Hendricks had won the bout. His performance was so impressive that when St-Pierre retired from the sport that everyone assumed he would take up the mantle.

Hendricks did just that at UFC 171 when he defeated long time veteran Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title. But it wasn’t the type of performance we expected to see from him. After the bout it was revealed that Hendricks had a hard weight cut and he fought with a torn bicep; both had a significant effect on his performance.

After taking some time to heal Hendricks returned to the cage to defend his title against Lawler in a highly anticipated rematch at UFC 181. Hendricks had a rough weight cut leading up to the fight and he just didn’t look right at the weigh in. But he came out hard against Lawler anyway; it just didn’t last. The bad cut had greatly affected his cardio and Lawler took full advantage.

Now heading into UFC 185, Hendricks has a lot of people questioning whether or not he can still be a factor at welterweight. Two bad weight cuts in a row could be a sign that Hendricks needs to move up to middleweight. But that just is not the case. Not only can Hendricks still contend for the title, he can win it again.

Hendricks has one of the most impressive wrestling pedigrees in the sport today. A four-time NCAA Division I All-American and a two-time National champion when Hendricks wants to take the fight to the ground very few can stop him. Add to that his brutal knockout power on the feet and you have a fighter who can beat opponents a number of ways.

The biggest issue facing Hendricks is his commitment to overall fitness. If he can keep from ballooning up in between fights, his weight cuts will be manageable and he will be able to enter the cage in peak physical condition. Doing that is easier said than done as Hendricks is a supreme competitor who had dedicated his life to being a champion. Hendricks will overcome these issues and he will be the UFC welterweight champion again.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.