Johny Hendricks

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Johny Hendricks
BornJohny Harvey Hendricks
(1983-09-12) September 12, 1983 (age 35)
Ada, Oklahoma, U.S.
Other namesBigg Rigg[1]
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight185.8 lb (84 kg; 13 st 4 lb)
Division
Reach69 in (175 cm)[2]
StyleWrestling, Kickboxing, Bare knuckle boxing, BJJ
Fighting out ofFort Worth, Texas, U.S.
TeamTeam Takedown
Jackson Wink MMA Academy[3]
Rank     Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[4]
WrestlingNCAA Division I Wrestling[1]
Years active2007–2018 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total26
Wins18
By knockout8
By submission1
By decision9
Losses8
By knockout3
By decision5
UniversityOklahoma State University
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Johny Harvey Hendricks[5] (born September 12, 1983) is an American retired mixed martial artist and an accomplished former collegiate wrestler. He competed in the welterweight and middleweight divisions of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is a former UFC Welterweight Champion.

Early life[edit]

Hendricks was born in Ada, Oklahoma. He was a three-time Oklahoma high school wrestling state champion and was a two-time high school national champion while at Edmond Memorial High School. His final high school record was 101–5. He would go on to attend college at Oklahoma State University (OSU).

After a 10–0 redshirt season in 2003, Hendricks finished 5th in the nation at 157 pounds in 2004, while compiling a 37–7 record. Hendricks moved up to 165 pounds for the next three seasons. He won the 2005 and 2006 Big 12 titles and NCAA Division I national championships.[6] He was 27–4 in 2005 and 29–1 in 2006.

Going into the 2007 national championships final match, Hendricks had a record of 34–0 for the season and had won his third straight Big 12 title along the way.[7] He suffered an upset loss to Mark Perry from the University of Iowa and finished 2nd in the nation. The four-time All-American for OSU finished with a college record of 159–13.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After graduating from OSU in 2007, Hendricks moved to Las Vegas and trained at Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu under Marc Laimon,[6] along with two other former OSU wrestlers, Shane Roller and Jake Rosholt. Hendricks then later moved to Texas and signed with Team Takedown. This elite fighter management team funds fighters' training and splits his profits.[8] Hendricks would go on to have his first career mixed martial arts (MMA) fight only seven months after his last collegiate wrestling match. He made his professional MMA debut on September 28, 2007, in which he scored a third-round controversial TKO victory over Victor Rackliff at Masters of the Cage 16 held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Rackliff was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet and he rocked Hendricks in the 3rd when both fighters exchanged punches.[9] Hendricks fought once more in 2007, defeating Spencer Cowley by second-round TKO at Snakebite Fight Night held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[10][11] Hendricks won his television debut on March 15, 2008, with a first-round submission victory over Richard Gamble at HDNet Fights Xtreme Fighting League, also in Tulsa.[12]

World Extreme Cagefighting[edit]

Hendricks, Roller and Rosholt signed multi-fight deals with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).[13]

While in the WEC, Hendricks defeated Justin Haskins on December 3, 2008 at WEC 37.[14]

Next, Hendricks defeated Alex Serdyukov via unanimous decision on March 1, 2009 at WEC 39.[15] which was the last 170-pound bout in WEC history due to the company's decision to dissolve its welterweight division and focus on lighter weight fighters.[16]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

With the WEC eliminating his weight class, Hendricks had to find another place to fight and signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In May 2009, it was announced that Hendricks would be making his UFC debut against Ultimate Fighter 7 champion Amir Sadollah at UFC 101 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 8, 2009.[17] In the opening seconds of the first round, Hendricks blocked a high head kick from Sadollah and countered with an uppercut, knocking Sadollah to his knees. Hendricks continued to land punches until referee Dan Miragliotta pulled him off and ended the fight 29 seconds into the first round. Some people criticized Miragliotta for stopping the fight too early, as Sadollah seemed to be trying to get up, but Miragliotta defended his stoppage, saying Sadollah was "out of it" and "still looked glassy eyed and asked me what happened." [18]

Hendricks faced promotional newcomer Ricardo Funch on December 12, 2009, at UFC 107.[19] Hendricks won the fight via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–25).

Hendricks next faced TJ Grant on May 8, 2010, at UFC 113.[20] Hendricks won the bout via majority decision, improving his record to 3–0 in the UFC.

He next faced Charlie Brenneman on August 7, 2010, at UFC 117.[21] Hendricks defeated him via TKO in the second round.[22]

Hendricks fought Rick Story on December 4, 2010, at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.[23] Hendricks lost via unanimous decision.[24]

Win streak[edit]

Hendricks was expected to face Paulo Thiago on March 3, 2011, at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann.[25] However, Thiago was forced out of the bout with an elbow injury.[26] Instead, Hendricks fought TJ Waldburger on March 26, 2011, at UFC Fight Night 24, replacing an injured Dennis Hallman.[27] Hendricks won via first-round TKO, earning Knockout of the Night honors.[28]

Hendricks faced Mike Pierce on August 6, 2011, at UFC 133.[29] Hendricks won by split decision.[30]

Hendricks fought longtime #2 welterweight Jon Fitch on December 30, 2011, at UFC 141.[31] Hendricks became the first man to finish Fitch in the UFC, winning via knockout just 12 seconds into the first round.[32] The performance also earned Knockout of the Night honors.[33]

Hendricks next faced Josh Koscheck on May 5, 2012, in the co-main event at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller.[34] He won the fight via split decision.

Hendricks faced Martin Kampmann on November 17, 2012, at UFC 154.[35] Hendricks won via KO in the first round, with the fight only lasting 46 seconds. He earned Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.[36][37]

Hendricks was expected to face Jake Ellenberger on March 16, 2013, at UFC 158.[38] However, Hendricks was pulled from the Ellenberger bout in favor of a matchup with Carlos Condit at the event after Condit's original opponent, Rory MacDonald, pulled out of the bout with an injury.[39] Hendricks won the fight via unanimous decision and both participants earned Fight of the Night honors.[40]

Welterweight title bouts[edit]

Having earned his title shot, Hendricks faced Georges St-Pierre on November 16, 2013, at UFC 167 for the UFC Welterweight Championship.[41] He lost via controversial split decision, a loss that UFC president Dana White felt was unwarranted as he publicly stated he believed Hendricks won the fight.[42] In addition, the site MMADecisions.com reported that every one of the sixteen MMA media members whose scores they collect declared the fight a decision victory for Hendricks.[43] Despite the controversy, the bout did earn him Fight of the Night honors in the UFC for the second time.[44]

On December 13, 2013, news came that Georges St-Pierre would be taking an indefinite break from MMA and vacating his belt.[45] Following this report, Dana White announced that Hendricks would be facing Robbie Lawler on March 15, 2014, at UFC 171 for the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship.[46] Hendricks won the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision. The bout also earned him his third consecutive Fight of the Night bonus award.[47] Hendricks underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep that he sustained prior to his fight with Lawler. He returned to training in May 2014.[48]

A rematch with Robbie Lawler took place at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014.[49] After a strong start, Hendricks slowed in the later rounds and ultimately lost the fight and the title via split decision.[50]

Post-championship fights[edit]

Hendricks faced Matt Brown on March 14, 2015, at UFC 185.[51] While Brown had a limited amount of success on the feet, Hendricks was successful on nine of ten takedown attempts and neutralized Brown's attacks. Hendricks won the fight via unanimous decision.[52]

Hendricks was expected to face Tyron Woodley on October 3, 2015, at UFC 192.[53] However, the bout was scrapped prior to the weigh-ins due to an intestinal blockage and kidney stone attack suffered by Hendricks during the weight cut.[54]

Hendricks faced Stephen Thompson on February 6, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 82.[55] Despite being the betting favorite in this encounter, Hendricks had no answer for Thompson's striking and lost the bout via TKO in the first round, marking the first time Hendricks had ever been finished in his MMA career.[56]

Hendricks faced Kelvin Gastelum on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200.[57] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[58] Prior to the bout, Hendricks missed weight by a quarter of a pound and therefore surrendered 20% of his purse to Gastelum.[59]

Hendricks faced Neil Magny on December 30, 2016, at UFC 207.[60] At the weigh-ins, Hendricks once again missed weight, weighing in at 173.5 lbs., two and a half pounds over the welterweight limit. As a result, he forfeited 20% of his purse to Magny.[61] Hendricks lost the bout by unanimous decision in what was a close and competitive fight.[62] Prior to the fight, Hendricks announced his intentions to move up to middleweight after facing Magny due to the hard weight-cut.[63]

Middleweight[edit]

After several struggles to make the welterweight limit, Hendricks opted to move up a weight class to the middleweight division. He faced Hector Lombard in his middleweight debut on February 19, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 105.[64] Hendricks won the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision.[65]

Hendricks faced Tim Boetsch on June 25, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 112. He missed weight for this event, and weighed in at 188 pounds, 2 pounds over the middleweight limit of 186 pounds for a non-championship fight.[66] Hendricks lost the fight via TKO due to a head kick and punches early in the second round.[67]

Hendricks faced Paulo Costa on November 4, 2017 at UFC 217.[68] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round. It was the last fight on Hendricks' fight contract.[69]

On June 27, 2018, Hendricks announced his retirement from competing in professional mixed martial arts and would concentrate on coaching wrestling.[70]

Bare knuckle boxing[edit]

Only a few months after retiring from the mixed martial arts, news surfaced that Hendricks will be transitioning into bare knuckle boxing. His debut was expected to be against fellow retired mixed martial artist Brennan Ward at World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation's inaugural event on November 9, 2018.[71] During the fight week, Ward announced that he won't be competing at the event due to a contract dispute and was replaced by Dakota Cochrane.[72][73] Cochrane defeated Hendricks by knock out in the second round.[74]

Personal life[edit]

Hendricks and his wife Christina[75] have four children: Abri, Adli, Avin, and Rigg.

Hendricks has been sponsored by Reebok since UFC 167.[76]

Hendricks' moniker, 'Big Rigg', is derived from his jiu-jitsu coach's comment that Hendricks hit like a Mack truck, having also owned a Ford F350 truck.[77]

Championships and achievements[edit]

Collegiate wrestling[edit]

Amateur wrestling[edit]

  • USA Junior Freestyle Championship[79]
    • USA Junior Freestyle Championship 165 1b – Winner out of Oklahoma (2001)[79]
    • USA Junior Freestyle Championship 165 1b – Winner out of Oklahoma (2002)[79]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–8 Paulo Costa TKO (punches) UFC 217 November 4, 2017 2 1:23 New York City, New York, United States
Loss 18–7 Tim Boetsch TKO (head kick and punches) UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee June 25, 2017 2 0:46 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States Catchweight (188 lbs) bout; Hendricks missed weight.
Win 18–6 Hector Lombard Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne February 19, 2017 3 5:00 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Middleweight debut.
Loss 17–6 Neil Magny Decision (unanimous) UFC 207 December 30, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (173.5 lbs) bout; Hendricks missed weight.
Loss 17–5 Kelvin Gastelum Decision (unanimous) UFC 200 July 9, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (171.25 lbs) bout; Hendricks missed weight.
Loss 17–4 Stephen Thompson TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson February 6, 2016 1 3:31 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17–3 Matt Brown Decision (unanimous) UFC 185 March 14, 2015 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Loss 16–3 Robbie Lawler Decision (split) UFC 181 December 6, 2014 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 16–2 Robbie Lawler Decision (unanimous) UFC 171 March 15, 2014 5 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Won the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–2 Georges St-Pierre Decision (split) UFC 167 November 16, 2013 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Welterweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 15–1 Carlos Condit Decision (unanimous) UFC 158 March 16, 2013 3 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada UFC Welterweight title eliminator. Fight of the Night.
Win 14–1 Martin Kampmann KO (punch) UFC 154 November 17, 2012 1 0:46 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Knockout of the Night.
Win 13–1 Josh Koscheck Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller May 5, 2012 3 5:00 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 12–1 Jon Fitch KO (punch) UFC 141 December 30, 2011 1 0:12 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 11–1 Mike Pierce Decision (split) UFC 133 August 6, 2011 3 5:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 10–1 TJ Waldburger TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis March 26, 2011 1 1:35 Seattle, Washington, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 9–1 Rick Story Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale December 4, 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 Charlie Brenneman TKO (punches) UFC 117 August 7, 2010 2 0:40 Oakland, California, United States
Win 8–0 TJ Grant Decision (majority) UFC 113 May 8, 2010 3 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 7–0 Ricardo Funch Decision (unanimous) UFC 107 December 12, 2009 3 5:00 Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win 6–0 Amir Sadollah TKO (punches) UFC 101 August 8, 2009 1 0:29 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 5–0 Alex Serdyukov Decision (unanimous) WEC 39 March 1, 2009 3 5:00 Corpus Christi, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 4–0 Justin Haskins TKO (punches) WEC 37 December 3, 2008 2 0:43 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 3–0 Richard Gamble Submission (D'Arce choke) Xtreme Fighting League 1 March 15, 2008 1 1:45 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Win 2–0 Spencer Cowley KO (punches) Shark Fight Night November 16, 2007 2 0:35 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Win 1–0 Victor Rackliff TKO (doctor stoppage) Battle of the Cage 16 September 28, 2007 3 1:54 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Pay-per-view bouts[edit]

Date Event Buyrate Attendance
November 16, 2013 UFC 167 630,000 14,856
March 14, 2014 UFC 171 300,000 19,324
December 6, 2014 UFC 181 400,000 9,617

Bare knuckle record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-1 Dakota Cochrane TKO (punches) World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation November 9, 2018 2 0:21 Casper, Wyoming, United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Vacant
Title last held by
Georges St-Pierre
9th UFC Welterweight Champion
March 15, 2014 – December 6, 2014
Succeeded by
Robbie Lawler