Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has called an end to his illustrious mixed martial arts career. Now the fighter has come forward with a few words concerning his decision to hang up his gloves.
Speaking on ESPN’s The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Hendricks revealed that judges and trash-talking were two large factors in his big decision to leave the octagon.
“Sometimes it’s not even about how good a fighter you are, it’s about how good you learn to run your mouth. I’m just a southern kid that likes to do something, That’s really the gist of it.”
“Then you start throwing in this guy who is doing this, that guy who is doing this, and you know what, for me, it’s not the same sport I wanted to be involved with five or six years ago. It’s changing. I knew it would one day but I would’ve hoped it would be longer than that. Now that it has evolved into what it is, there are some people that are very good at what they do, run their mouth, and I can’t take nothing away from them because that’s the easiest part. So I ask myself, if I wanted to get back to where I was before, could I have done it without running my mouth?”
“Realistically, I’m over it. I’m over the sport. I did my part and I can say I’m out of the MMA world and I don’t have to worry about something else happening.”
“I’ve been thinking about it, should I give it another shot, should I not? And with that big question being taken away now I felt a lot of relief and I’m feeling really good about my decision. I still get to wake up, I train once a day, I’m still training wrestling, I’m still working out with guys. The only difference is, I don’t have somebody sitting here saying, ‘Oh, you’re walking around at 208 right now, you’re fat, you need to lose weight.’”
“You’re looking at these judges, what do they want? Now that I am retired, I can say whatever I want, and that’s the beauty of it. What are these refs looking for? Why is it not regulated? In Nevada, why do we have boxing judges doing MMA? They don’t understand jiu-jitsu and why are they in the same arena? We have technology nowadays.”
“If I’m sitting here and I’m fighting somebody, and I hit him hard and the crowd goes ‘oh’ but it really wasn’t that hard of a hit, the judges are going to count that as something better. I don’t know how many fights I have been to where I’ve sat behind the judge. They are back here texting and not even looking at the fight. Now that I am retired I don’t have to worry about a judge judging my fight the wrong way because he’s pissed off that I called him out.”