After losing back-to-back bouts for the first time in his nine-year fighting career, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks heads into UFC 207 with his fighting future on the line.
“If I go out there and let’s just say, crazier things have happened, and I lose? Well, I guess (it’s time) to say, ‘I’m done,'” Hendricks told ESPN. “I’m not going to keep fighting to hopefully find a person I can beat. At that point, it might be the fact your body just says, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do this anymore.'”
Hendricks faces Neil Magny at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 30 coming off of a decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 200.
“After that last fight, me and my wife sat down and she said, ‘Johny, if you’re gonna fight like that, quit — because that’s pathetic,'” Hendricks said. “I said, ‘I agree! I agree woman!’ That was not how I fight.
“At that moment, I just looked at her and said, ‘I still want to fight’ and she said, ‘If you’re gonna fight, fight. I’m not gonna tell you that you can’t do this, but (I will) if you don’t train to win.'”
“I have to be a little selfish again. I have to put my career sort of ahead of everything else — and I don’t like doing that. I wanted to be a father and I wanted to be involved in my children’s athletics, school, stuff like that. And then the next thing you know, you’re down two fights.”
Two years ago, Hendricks was the UFC welterweight champion. Since then, he’s lost three of his last four fights. He still believes that he’s one of the best 170-pound fighters in the world and plans to showcase that against Magny.
“My back’s against the wall. I don’t want to be one of those guys who fights until they’re 38, 40 years old. I don’t want to put my wife through that and I don’t want to put my kids through that. That’s not me.”