Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has announced his retirement from MMA.
This news comes just two days after fellow ex-title holder Rashad Evans called time on his career.
Hendricks will be leaving the sport to pursue his passion of coaching aspiring wrestlers in high school and claims to have made the decision two weeks before making his retirement news public.
“I am getting out of the MMA world. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard for a while. I’m gonna get back to my roots and I’m going to start coaching at All Saints. I coached a little bit of high school last year at Oak Ridge, but I’m making the move over to All Saints. I’m going to start coaching there, start doing those kinds of things.
“One of the things that’s nice is these last seven months, being home, spending time with the kids, not worrying about myself, what I need to do. I was walking around at 200 [lbs] for three weeks, I was just living the life, I go, ‘Do we really want to do this?’ I know that I’m more happy to do it, but do we want to do this? Do we want to go through the grind that I used to do? Be gone for long periods of time, put my family second and do those kinds of things? Right now I can’t say that.”
Hendricks’ love for fighting hasn’t completely waned and the Oklahoma native is looking forward to being to train MMA at a leisurely, non-competitive pace.
“For 20 years of my life, I’ve been at the grind of mental, physical, trying to keep yourself in tip-top shape, and you know what, what I’m doing right now is I’m training some of the guys at my gym and I’m gonna miss sparring and stuff like that. But since I’m training guys, I spar with them twice a month, so I still get sparring, I still get to work hands, I still get to do things that I enjoy. It’s like the best of both worlds for me.”
“Big Rigg” retires from the sport with a record of 18-8, having endured five losses from his last six fights. The former welterweight kingpin’s career highlight is undoubtedly his impressive win over rival Robbie Lawler to win UFC gold. In addition, Hendricks defeated the likes of Carlos Condit, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann, while taking then long-time UFC champion Georges St-Pierre to an agonisingly-close split decision defeat.
Hendricks last competed at UFC 217 last November, suffering a TKO loss to the surging Paulo Costa.