UFC Champion Johny HendricksNew UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks may be excited to have the belt wrapped around his waist, but it will be a while before he’ll be able to defend it.

Hendricks on The MMA Hour on Monday revealed that he had been close to pulling out of his UFC 171 title bout with Robbie Lawler due to a biceps injury, but the championship meant too much to him. He instead soldiered on and won the belt in a grueling five-round bout.

Appearing on KROQ radio in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Hendricks, according to MMAFighting.com, said that he is scheduled to have surgery on the torn biceps muscle on Monday. Granted the surgery goes as planned, he will be sidelined for four weeks, which will then be followed by another four weeks of rehabilitation.

Hendricks suffered the injury about two weeks prior to the fight with Lawler, but, as mentioned, he declined to cancel the fight.

Hendricks’ manager, Ted Ehrhardt, reportedly told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday that his fighter also suffered a hairline fracture to his left shin during the fight. He indicated a “lengthy recovery period” for the shin injury.

UFC officials have yet to name a clear No. 1 contender to Hendricks’ shiny new belt. There are several contenders – Tyron Woodley, Rory MacDonald, and Hector Lombard chief among them – so Hendricks being sidelined might provide the promotion and the fighters with the incentive to put a match-up together to declare a definite No. 1 contender.

Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley anyone?

A request for comment from Hendricks’ manager went unreturned at the time of publication.

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