UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks may soon be back in the gym.
After undergoing successful bicep surgery in late-March following his title-winning performance over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171, Hendricks is expected to be able to return to light training in three weeks, his manager Ted Erhardt told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight.
According to Erhardt, Hendricks' rehab has thus far gone as well as expected. The man they call "Bigg Rigg" is now hoping to stage the first defense of his newly minted UFC welterweight title in mid- to late-2014, with a date ranging from September to November depending on his recovery and the UFC's autumn schedule.
Hendricks (16-2) initially injured his right bicep two weeks out from his bout against Lawler. The injury nearly forced Hendricks to withdraw from UFC 171, however he elected to fight, and went on to further aggravate the injury during a striking exchange midway through the first round of the contest.
"Throwing a hook," Hendricks explained on The MMA Hour. "And whenever I threw a hook it just spazzed out. I don't know what happened. I felt my arm actually pop."
Hendricks also suffered a fractured shin during the first round of the bout, which he won via unanimous decision to claim the vacant UFC welterweight title, although that injury did not require surgery.