Johny Hendricks believes he has a valid excuse why he missed weight for his fight against Tim Boetsch this past weekend in Oklahoma City.
Hendricks came in at 188-pounds — a full two pounds over the middleweight limit for a non-title fight — which marked the third time in the past four fights where he’s failed to make weight for a bout.
Ultimately, Hendricks was charged 20-percent of his purse for the weight cutting infraction, which was then followed by a second round TKO loss to Boetsch the next night.
Now Hendricks has broken his silence on why he missed weight after specifically moving up a division to avoid these kinds of encounters.
“Like Wednesday something happened and I started running a fever,” Hendricks told Submission Radio. “Thursday, Friday I’m just trying, you know what I mean? I’m like, I’m sitting there going ‘oh my gosh,’ cause what’s crazy is — you know, it’s funny because I love fans, but then again I think they’re the most ill-informed people. And the reason why I say that is because, you know, perfect example, if y’all are feeling sick, what are you gonna do?
“If you are sick, what do you get to do? You get to sort of take a day off, you know what I’m saying?”
Obviously a day off wasn’t an option for Hendricks as he was already in the midst of fight week in Oklahoma City as he prepared to face Boetsch on Sunday night.
According to Hendricks, he didn’t show up that far over the middleweight limit, but his sickness adversely affected his body and that’s when everything just shut down.
“I showed up and I think I was 13 [pounds] over when I showed up. And I drank ten pounds of fluid that day,” Hendricks explained. “At that point you’re fighting not only the weight but also the body. And I got to where it just, it just sucks because 185’s not that hard to make, but whenever you’re sick, it is.
“You know, your body’s just not gonna give up anything. And the next thing you know, you’re trying to turn it right around in 48 hours in the fight of your life.”
Hendricks added that he was running a very high fever the week of the fight and it just prevented him from being able to step onto the scale on weight as he expected when he first arrived in Oklahoma City.
“You’re running like 102 temperature for two days and you’re playing it that way. You know, you’re running a high temperature, you’re trying to do everything you can, you’re not trying to kill fluids but you’re trying to keep your fluids up a little but so that way you could fight it,” Hendricks said. “And I pretty much just told the commission, I was like, “guys, I have to fight this fight”. And then [the fever] broke on late, late Friday, I think like one or two o’clock in the morning. And whenever it sort of broke we tried to hit hard to get that last little bit off, but at that point my body was just saying, “hey, we’re just trying to survive at this point.”
Hendricks also fired back at his biggest critics after missing weight including his former nutritionist Mike Dolce as well as former UFC title contender Kenny Florian, who both took aim at him after missing weight on Saturday.
“My old weight coach, Louis [Giordano], he defended me, saying, ‘yeah, if you get sick, it’s hard to cut weight when you’re sick’. Then I’ve got my other old one, [Mike] Dolce, who is saying the totally opposite. And then you got people like Kenny Florian saying, “oh, he’s just there for a paycheck,” you know what I’m saying?” Hendricks said. “And you’re going, Kenny, you’re an idiot, because wasn’t I forcing the pace the whole fight? Now, wouldn’t a paycheck just be over in like 20 seconds in MMA? Does that make sense?”
Despite the setback in both the weight cutting fiasco as well as falling to Boetsch in the fight, Hendricks promised to press on with his career and return stronger for his next bout.
“I’m gonna be back stronger, and whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” Hendricks said. “And my fans, they know that. They know that I’m gonna bounce back and I’m gonna come back and the next fight is gonna be better for me. I’m constantly improving, and that’s really all I can ask for. And for the people that are behind me, that have stood behind me, I’m so grateful for you. And those are the people that I’ve been seeing and who have been listening to for the last two days.
“And that’s what lifts me up and that’s why I have the drive that I have right now, that I want to get back there. I want to make them happy.”