Hendricks: Why I am training at Jackson-Wink
Heading into a title fight with division G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre in 2013 Johny Hendricks was 15-1, on a run of wins that included Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Martin Kampmann, and Carlos Condit. ‘Bigg Rigg’ lost a highly controversial split decision to GSP, but when St-Pierre took a break from fighting, Hendricks beat Robbie Lawler for the vacant title, and then lost the rematch via split decision.
Hendricks is 2-4 since. Further, he missed weight his final two fights at welterweight, losses to Kelvin Gastelum and Neil Magny. He then moved up to middleweight and look impressive defeating Hector Lombard in his debut at 185. Next fight, however, was a return to form – he missed weight and got knocked out by Tim Boetsch.
Now he is training at Jackson-Wink, and during a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Hendricks talked about it.
“I didn’t try any others,” he said. “I thought about a couple of other ones – The Blackzilians and also AKA – but I wanted to try Jackson’s because one, it’s the closest. And two, you look at what they’ve made. They’ve had a lot of guys. And not only that, but I’ve also been on the other side of Jackson’s and Winkeljohn’s.”
“About a year and a half ago it just turned hard to get partners to come in and train. I could find boxers, but MMA is a little bit different than boxing, the distance and where to move your head and where you’re safe and where you’re not because you can throw kicks. And after that last fight, that was sort of the last straw that I was like, you know what, I got to get people, I got to get more than just one look.
“My coach was telling me to go try a couple of camps out, and we talked to Winkeljohn and he said, ‘Sure, come on out, try it out’ and I did. After the first day I knew that from here on out that’s where I’ll be training. Now, I’m gonna still train here in Texas cause I can’t leave my family for that long, right? But I plan on doing majority of my camp out in New Mexico.”
“Here in Texas we have partners but sometimes it’s hard to get partners. Whereas at Jacksons you have partners upon partners and people who want to train non-stop. I showed up, they opened their arms to me and we just started working. And that’s sort of what I need, I need people that are gonna push me. And my coaches push me here, but I need the people as well, I needed the partners. And it’s so tough to beat a place like that when it comes to how many people they have. And not only that, but how many big guys they have that I’m able to work out with. The first day I showed up I sparred six different people, and there were still four people that wanted to go, you know, but class was over. So it’s sort of a different vibe.”
“Here in Texas, I can’t get pushed because if I spar with you once, you might not come back again. If I do something, if we roll together, you might not come back again. … But out there, you push somebody, guess what? They’re gonna push back. And then I’m going, oh ok, I get to raise my level and they try to raise theirs, and let’s see who gets crumbled underneath the other person’s level, right?”
“I can’t stress enough how the reason why it’s hard to go to new gyms is because you’re worried about what happens, right? You’re worried about this and that and everything else. But the way that whenever I walked through that gym, the way that it sort of went down is I’m super excited about sparring. And I already told them, on the second day I said, ‘I’m coming back, I’m gonna be here. This is gonna be my camp from here on out.’”
Another half of Hendricks’ problem is weight cutting, and that sounds less under control.
“I’ve been working the UFC nutritionist,” he began. “So I’m working with people, I’m working with them. My weight, I’m gonna try to hit under 200 this week and then I’ll be three weeks out from weigh-ins. By the time I get there my goal is to be right around 195 so he has an easy time with me. And those are all easy things to do.
“I’ve been eating a lot, I’ve doing a lot of things differently, been running more, you know, things that I’m not relying on other people about. Even though I’m working with the UFC on the nutrition side, I’m really on my own in a theory because I’m making sure that I do it. I’ve relied on other people and it’s time for me to say, ‘Hey, now if I miss weight it’s because of me.'”
Johny Hendricks fights Paulo Borrachinha at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.