Is Moving to Middleweight the Right Move for Johny Hendricks

Since winning the Welterweight title in 2014, Johny Hendricks has a 1-3 record in the Octagon. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Johny Hendricks has had a rough go at welterweight. Will a new weight class change his fortunes? Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Kyler Kuehler

Former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has been on a major decline since winning the title at UFC 171 only to lose it nine months later in an immediate rematch to Robbie Lawler via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) at UFC 181. Though Hendricks would make a short-lived comeback against Matt Brown, but then would fall back into the losing streak with three back-to-back losses with partial blame on his high weight cuts.

Now Hendricks looks to possibly redeem himself by moving up to middleweight with his first bout scheduled to take place on Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on February 19, 2017, against Hector Lombard.

Indeed the middleweight division will be closer to his actual weight and just might be what Hendricks needs to do in order to get back to the fighter we all knew him to be but is it really the right decision for him, even when his first fight is against a top contender  who is known to have knockout power and great grappling game.

Well, Hendricks does have pretty good wrestling that could very well match the jiu-jitsu of Lombard since everyone has seen just how well-rounded he is when it comes to grappling and if he kept his weight cut at ease along with a healthy diet I believe he just might be able to stand a chance.

Though like I said before, Lombard does have great knockout power as 19 of his victories ended in knockout making it more questioning if Hendricks will be able to stand with a heavy striker like Lombard who indeed is no joke when getting into an all out brawl with.

The middleweight division now begins to look like a death wish for Hendricks as Lombard is not the only deadly striker in this division as fighters like Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Souza, Chris Weidman, Yoel Romero, Michael Bisping, Gegard Mousasi all are just as dangerous and even more than Lombard. With these types of fighters makes fans wonder if Hendricks has the skills and techniques to compete with fighters of these calibers after his last three fights were some his worst performances making his move seem like the final end of his career.

Unless Hendricks brings back the fighter he was when he began his career in the sport it looks like his fight against Lombard just might very well be his final fight ever and will only be remembered as a has been rather than a legend.