Former welterweight champion now middleweight contender John Hendricks has been on one the biggest declines in the UFC. Hendricks won the title against former champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 in 2014 where he compiled a record of 16-2 after a close battle against former welterweight champion, now middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre. However once the belt was around his waist the champion would go on a rocky road turning his impressive record into a sloppy showcase of 18-8.
Now that he suffered another loss to undefeated middleweight contender Paulo Costa at UFC 217 Hendricks looks to be exiting the UFC and the sport in general. It has to do with many reasons outside his record numbers.
Hendricks, like any other fighter; has to deal with his issues in making weight for each bout. Making weight is of great importance to the sport for if one cannot make weight the odds are significantly high that the fighter will not perform to their full potential. Hendricks has always had to shed several pounds before each fight, but he never really had much trouble with it and dropped down to his scheduled weight class. But he has recently had great trouble in making his weight, which caused him to move up to middleweight and yet he still saw trouble trying to edge the limit just enough. This could be the fact he really did not have a healthy diet, which everyone knows a healthy diet is a great part of any fighter’s performance or any athlete for the matter as they push their bodies to extremes no other person does making them more than just humans. But besides the whole weight cutting and unhealthy dieting, there is another major answer to why Hendricks has finally lost his game.
It deals with the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) where during Hendricks’ earlier days they were not as strict on testing giving many fighters a great chance to take many PEDs (Performance Enhancement Drugs) and get away with it. But over the past two to three years the USADA has significantly increased the testing causing many fighters to fail and make a full 180-degree turn in their performance revealing they were not the top athlete everyone believed them to be. Yes, Hendricks never failed a test before, but from the time frame of before the strict testing and after his body has shown a massive decrease in muscle mass causing him to shrink exposing he just might have very well been on PEDs this entire time and now that USADA has stopped him from taking anymore he can no longer get back to the top of the leaderboard.
Whatever the reason is Hendricks no longer has a place in the sport and unless he retires, the UFC will most likely release him and he will just have to continue on with his life and leave the sport behind him once and for all.