Former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks announced his retirement from MMA earlier this year.
While Hendricks is a supporter of USADA, it was the USADA rule concerning IV’s that played a part in his decision to retire.
“I think USADA’s a great thing for the athletes, because it’s making people be clean, right? I took 26 tests, never failed one of the them. And that was in two years; I took 26 tests, never failed one of them. But what hurts the MMA aspect is that you can’t [use] IV bags,” Hendricks said on The MMA Hour. “So, I’m a bigger welterweight, I walk around at 210. I’ve done that since I was 19 years old, walk around at 210, and the IV always brought me back. It helped me get back to life, it helped me get to where I didn’t feel like I cut weight. And once USADA come into play, I had to start walking around like 190 at best, and as you can tell, I do carry a lot of weight ... and that’s sort of one reason why it just made it that much harder to make weight at 170. I’m just not in the sport to just be in a sport. Does that make sense? I can do other things. If I’m going to do it, I want to be the best, and I know welterweight is my best. That’s where I should be. Now, like I’d said, I loved the fact of USADA and I loved that you do the random drug testing. I just wish that, they have a lot of people that show up at these meets — you want to do an IV, have them test you every day. I’m perfectly fine with that. You show up Monday, you get tested. Tuesday, you get tested. Wednesday, you get tested. Thursday, if you have any pee left, you can get tested on Thursday. They’re there testing the IV bags, they’re doing everything like that, and I think you can bring back IVs, because I think there’s a lot of people that really used the IVs to help them fight better. Once you took that away, you started to see some of these guys, they either had to move up or they stayed at their normal weight and they didn’t perform like they used to.”
USADA has banned IV usage for all who get tested, while WADA and various state athletic commissions also ban IV usage for competitors as well.
Hendricks is going to be competing in bare knuckle boxing moving forward, which will allow the fighter to find out how solid his striking is.
“I just got to a point where sometimes it’s how much you’re going to talk to get something,” Hendricks said. “How bad does the press want to follow you? How much are you going to talk trash about this guy, this guy, this guy, to get the fight? And for me, I’ve always been the guy that, talking trash is easy, but for me, I just wanted to try something [different]. Realistically, I’ve wanted to try out boxing for a little bit, and whenever the bare knuckle TV, they came after me, they talked to me, I was pretty excited because I want to see how my hands are. I’ve been wanting to find out for a while: How good is my striking? Because I’ve gone with some very, very talented boxers here in Texas, and it’s just been a dream of mine. I’ve been a huge boxing fan all my life. I grew up watching (Mike) Tyson, I grew up watching the old classics, and that’s sort of where my next pull led me.”
World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation 1 is set for November 9, with Hendricks facing Bellator MMA veteran Brennan Ward on the card.