Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks announced his retirement from mixed martial arts Wednesday, effectively ending a 12-year professional career. Hendricks, 34, broke the news on MMAJunkie Radio. He finishes his storied career with an 18-8 mark, which includes a 13-8 record in the UFC.
Hendricks reached his peak in 2014 when, after losing a title shot versus Georges St-Pierre, he won the vacant welterweight belt over Robbie Lawler in a unanimous decision. He gave up the belt nine months later in a rematch with Lawler.
The 34-year-old has won just two fights in the UFC over the four years since reaching the mountaintop. He’s also lost five of his last six bouts and most recently was KO’d by Paulo Costa at UFC 217 in November.
Hendricks alternated weight classes and had well-publicized bouts with the scale in recent years. Following his last fight, he took seven months to decide on his next move.
“I made this decision two weeks ago, but I prayed about it and wanted to make sure I was going to be OK with it,” Hendricks said.
“I’ve been thinking about this long and hard for a while. I’m going to get back to my roots. I’m going to start coaching.”