Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks stole headlines this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 112, but not for the right reasons.

Hendricks missed weight for his middleweight contest vs. Tim Boetsch, which also ended with Boetsch finishing “Bigg Rigg.”

He appeared recently on Submission Radio to discuss the issues that led up to missing weight and the bout with Boetsch.

On the mental lapse and sickness that effected Johny’s performance at UFC OKC

“It didn’t go the way that I wanted it to, but it sort of did. The fight, I felt like I was pressuring him good, I just had a mental lapse. And you sort of can’t do that whenever you’re in there, definitely whenever you’re moving up weight class.”

“I felt like I was moving forward. That second round I really felt like I got his timing down. But you know, it really started the time before that, because like Wednesday something happened and I started running a fever. Thursday, Friday I’m just trying, you know what I mean? I’m like, I’m sitting there going (laughs), “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? Where it sucks that – cause my family was going through sickness for like three weeks prior to the fight. And I left and I was like, I didn’t get it. I was super excited. I was like, awesome, you know, nothing’s going on. But as soon as you start cutting weight – cause I showed up and I think I was 13 (pounds) over when I showed up. And I drank ten pounds of fluid that day, and the next minute *cuts out*. 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. And whenever I was in there, it wasn’t like, things weren’t clicking like they should have. You know, cause I saw a lot of openings, I got his timing down. The only thing he hit me with is that push kick, you know, until he rocked me with that kick. And I had to re-watch the footage because it was a good stoppage, and like I told Tim, “hey, good fight”, but whenever I was in there, whenever I threw that jab and I threw that cross, my two right across his face, man, if I would have opened it up two inches it could have been a different night, right? But whenever I threw it I thought I came in far enough and I threw it. And so what happened was, whenever I was sitting there I thought I was still moving, and my coach said, “no, you literally just stood still”. And at that point I don’t even know what was going through my head. Because I told him, I’m like, “man, I thought that once I threw that cross hook or my two, you know, I threw it and all of a sudden I saw the look and I saw how it felt, I was like, the next one’s gonna land. So I told my coach, I circled off, and whenever I circled off I was gonna go right back to it. Well, we got on the bus and he goes, “Johny, you didn’t even move”. So like there’s three seconds that I’m just standing there. Like, literally standing there. He goes, “what were you thinking?”. I looked back, I go, “I don’t know. I really don’t know what I was thinking”. And that’s where I’m taking it sort of rough right now, because, god, everything he did, I knew, I saw. You know, I saw everything, I felt awesome, there’s nothing that he could do. You know, and then he throws that high kick and he finishes. So kudos to him.”

How sick Johny really was and how it affected him

“You know what, it was just, 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. And I pretty much just told the commission, I was like, “guys, I have to fight this fight”. And then it 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, where just trying to survive at this point,” you know what I mean? And like I said, it’s not that hard to make 185. And that’s what I think is so funny, these people, they’re like, “oh, he missed weight again. Oh, he did this”. Well you know what? You have no idea. You have no idea. Anytime you get sick you got to a hospital. What do they do? They put you in an IV and they hydrate you up. Why? Cause fluid helps you fight the sickness. So that’s really what I’ve been trying to do, is I was trying not to put on a lot of weight, but also I was trying to get – you know, because if I don’t break that sickness then what do I do? Then I don’t get to fight. Then you just wasted literally ten weeks of camp for nothing. And so you’re in a catch twenty two. Do you sit there and say, you know what – I think I was three over – and whenever I was three over, your body is not breaking it and so what do you do? Do you just sit there and say, hopefully I can? Cause guess what, they’re gonna look at ya, they’re gonna see that you’re not doing well, they’re gonna check your body temperature, all that kind of stuff. So there’s a lot of things that were playing in my head. Cause I’m sitting going, I really wanted to fight. That’s all I thought about, I wanted to fight. But we also thought that if we can break the sweat or break the temperature, we could get down. And it just didn’t happen that way, which sucks. It does, but you know, we got on, it is what it is. Other than that, I don’t know what else to say besides the fact that you train so hard, you do all these things and all of a sudden it comes down to literally two days of being sick that messes up a great camp.”

Johny’s thoughts when he was approaching the scale knowing he wasn’t going to make weight

“It was really difficult. And like I said, you’re sitting here going, right now I’m at 200. You know, you lose weight so easily at 185, and then all of a sudden you’re sitting there going, everything’s on track. Everything was on track to be down to weight again. And then Wednesday night, Tursday you’re just going… like, I don’t really even know how to explain it besides, you’re just like, are you freakin kidding me? It’s happening.”

How much the negative comments from fans effected Johny mentally after missing weight on the night of the fight

“It does, it does. But you know what, that’s why we’re the fighters and that’s why they’re the keyboard warriors, you know what I mean? If they could handle that kind of criticism, if I could look at a guy, you know, some of these guys, they’re like, “oh Johny, you do steroids”. I’m like, look in the mirror, man. You probably pop more steroids than the average person can in their life, and you’re gonna sit here tell me that’s all natural? Like, I’m all natural. If I wasn’t all natural, I would have a six pack or an eight pack or a twelve pack. Whatever you can possible have at 185. Or I’d had it at 170. But I’m not blowing up like these guys, I’m not big like these guys. So whenever these guys, whenever you throw back just a little bit of negativity to them, they crumble like cheap cookies, you know what I’m say? Where we have to deal with it as an athlete all my life. Whenever somebody sits here and they say their two cents, you know what they’re really wanting? Is their two cents to be heard. And so like for me, I try to block it out, I try to do as much as I can to avoid these negative people. And like you said, sometimes you can’t. And whenever you can’t, yeah, it does (affect me). More than anything, you sit here going, man, 185 is so easy to make. Like, right now if they said, “hey, you have to fight next week,” I could make it because I know I’m not gonna get sick in the next two weeks. My body already fought it off so it’s gonna be easy to make 185. But, can I prove that? No. So here’s the point that I’m trying to make, I guess, it doesn’t matter what I say. It doesn’t matter if I say, “man, the zombie apocalypse came and they did this,” or a perfect example – hey, I got a bunch of dogs, right? I’ve got six dogs. If I told my teacher, “hey, my dog ate my homework,” and it really did, do you think it would matter? Do you think you’d believe me? Does that make sense? Some of them would, but some of them would sit there and look at you and go, “no, the dog didn’t eat your homework. I know that you got dogs, but they didn’t eat your homework. Nobody does that”. So that’s what I’m trying to say. No matter if it’s the truth, people don’t care about the truth. And that’s sort of what’s wrong with the world today. You know, their opinion’s right. Like, even though I know, hey, yeah I got sick, I got this, I got this and that’s why I did miss weight, but it doesn’t matter because guess what, their opinion’s right. Even though I could sit there and say, “yeah I had a 102 temperature,” they’d be like, “no, no, no, my opinion’s right”. How is your opinion right? You have no idea. They’re like, “no, I just know and I don’t care what you say. My opinion’s right”. And so that’s why I laugh at these (people). That’s why as fighters we always call them internet warriors, because it doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter that it’s not an excuse in a sense, but it’s the truth. What are they gonna turn it into? “Oh, it’s an excuse, oh it’s this, oh it’s that”. And it doesn’t matter to them because once they have a thought process in their head, they’re gonna believe that thought process. And one thing I’ve learnt, is it doesn’t matter how hard I try or what I can do to change that thought process, they’re gonna have it.”

“There’s a breaking point where you just say, you know what, I get it. Okay, I get what you’re saying. Why don’t you come to Texas and tell me? Okay? Come to Texas and tell me. I got a gym and anybody can find that gym, come on in and tell me your two cents. Tell me what I could be doing better, you know what I’m saying? And then prove to me why I should be doing that and this and this.”

On his former Coach Mike Dolce and Kenny Florian making comments about him

“A great example is 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 pay check,” you know what I’m saying? And you’re going, Kenny, you’re an idiot, because wasn’t I forcing the pace the whole fight? Now, wouldn’t a pay check just be over in like 20 seconds in MMA? Does that make sense? Like, some of these guys, they just want to blurt out whatever comes to them – “pickle, banana, rabbit,” – instead of sitting here saying – like you guys. What did y’all do? You texted me. What did I say? I would love to do an interview with you. You call me up, we talk about this and we figure it out, right? And that’s what you do. Instead, some of these people, they just want to hear themselves. You know, they’re wasting my air, they’re wasting your air. And that’s sort of what it is, they just want to say something that people are gonna draw to their website. And so that’s the gist of it for me, is that – that’s why I love that y’all texted me and said, “hey, would you want to do an interview?”. I was like yes, because then I can tell you what’s going on, speak my side of it and say, yeah it sucks, yeah I’m sorry, yeah it’s not gonna happen again, but I mean, I hope I don’t ever get sick before the fight again? Who’s gonna really sit there and say – I’ve never been sick before a fight in my life and then all of a sudden it happened. And now I’m this has-been who pushes Tim Boetsch, who fought an okay fight. I’m not saying I fought a great fight. Could I do better? Yes, but I’m pushing the pace. I know that I don’t know how my body’s gonna handle this, you know, hang in there, so I’m trying to force the pace. And then all of a sudden I don’t know what happened, I get knocked out or a TKO’d. You know, and you’re just, all of a sudden, like you said, it’s like “oh, he’s so over, he’s a has-been, he’ll never be back to where he was,” and I have people saying, “he’s not an 185-er”. You know what this really does for me? It makes me want to thrive so much harder. And my coaches, they already told me, “we don’t want to see you for two weeks. We don’t want to see you, because we could already tell”. I’m so fired up right now that I’d love to get back in there, you know what I’m saying? But they’re telling me, “hey, back away, go away,” they’re telling me, “get out of there. Forget about fighting for a day, forget about fighting for a couple weeks, forget about life and move forward”. So that’s what I’m doing right now, is I’m just about to cook out for my girls and friends and just sort of be human for a couple of weeks. And then whenever I drive back in there, I can’t wait, because the things that the people are saying, it makes me want that hunger that much more and prove to them, that the next time I get my hand raised, I’m gonna say, “hey, you guys, y’all were behind me. Some of these other guys, eat your crow cause I am an 185-pounder and I’m gonna get my hand raised and I’m gonna win my next fight and I cannot wait to please the room.”

Johny’s message to all of his fans listening

“The fans that are behind me, thank you and I will be back. I’m gonna be back stronger, and whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. 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.”