UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks discusses his recovery from bicep surgery as well as why he is warming up to the rematch with Robbie Lawler.
Johny Hendricks has been away from the octagon for quite some time. So long, in fact, that the last opponent he faced before undergoing surgery has already worked his way back to the No. 1 contender spot.
While the proposition of fighting Robbie Lawler again was something that Hendricks had to "warm up" to, he was, however, overjoyed with the thought of return to the octagon as a healthy champion.
"Going into something healthy; with two arms is nice (laughs)." Hendricks said on The MMA Hour.
A portion of Hendricks was keen on a fresh opponent like Brown, which would have been an interesting challenge for the champion. Yet that part of him was balanced out by his urge to see how he would handle a fight with Lawler if he were completely healthy.
"I was torn between those two. Ya I'd like to face Robbie Lawler healthy - with everything going right. I'd (like to) get in there and see if is as close a fight as it was the first one. I'm healthy; both arms are active and I can do a lot more."
Hendricks, who underwent surgery to fix a torn bicep following his title win against Robbie Lawler at UFC 171, is currently finishing the rehabilitation stage of his recovery and appears to be healing up ahead of schedule.
"My arm's almost there," he said. "I'm lifting 100lb. weights with it again. It's almost 100 percent right now, and I still have a couple of weeks to work on it. I'm super excited. I think the next time I go to the doctor, he's going to be very happy."
The champion emphasized his debilitation during the first fight against Lawler by referencing the third round of the fight, where Henrick's right arm was dangling low by his waist. "It is never (usually) that low. I keep it a little below my chin but not by my waist."
Far from making excuses for that performance, particularly since the bout is a clear frontrunner for ‘Fight of the Year', Hendricks simply hopes to use his past experience in that contest to help him overcome any hindrances during the second one.
"That fight was more of a you just got to stand up and get a win. Sometimes they're not pretty. Sometimes you're badly injured but you just got to get it done. That was that fight. Now it's about going in there, reliving that fight, and seeing what I could have done better."