The former welterweight champion of the world has signed up for what could well be his toughest test at 185lbs yet as he agrees to fight Paulo ‘Borrachinha’ at UFC 217.
The fall of Johny Hendricks has been one of the most difficult descents to watch in recent MMA history. As the champion of the welterweight division, Hendricks went toe-to-toe with Robbie Lawler on two different occasions and gave the legendary Georges St-Pierre the toughest fight of his own championship reign by some distance.
‘Big Rigg’ was known for his world-class wrestling and often-unbelievable knockout power but following his demoralising and highly-controversial decision loss at the hands of the aforementioned GSP, his career began to take a turn so dramatic that he now seems to be a shadow of the man he once was.
His well-documented problems with weight-cutting have come as a result of what we can only assume to be his own lack of professionalism since losing his title, but in-octagon, the infamous power he used to put guys like Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann to sleep seems to have left him completely. In his last seven outings he has gone 2-5 and despite moving to the middleweight division to avoid any further problems with his strenuous cut, his last matchup saw him tip the scales a bit too far once more, meeting Tim Boetsch last June at a catchweight of 188lbs.
Obviously, something is not right in the mind of the former-champ but now, despite his patchy record and less-than-inspiring form of late, he has signed on for a UFC 217 pairing with the rising prospect that is Paulo ‘Borrachinha’ Henrique Costa, who is an unbeaten 26-year-old who outmatches him in far too many areas on paper.
This one could get ugly, folks.
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) August 9, 2017
Borrachinha (10-0) has knocked out both of his UFC opponents so far and though he is still relatively young, at 6-foot-tall, he will tower above the admittedly undersized Hendricks and possesses all of the power necessary to add this highly-recognizable name to his ever-increasing resumé.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena