We always knew that former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks had weight issues. But when he got hospitalized with kidney stones a day before the UFC 193 weigh-ins, he might have taken it one step too far. Not only will his habit of gaining tremendous amounts of weight during fights now have a negative effect on his career in the Octagon, in can seriously affect his health, says his former nutritionist Mike Dolce.
"This is more important than sport," Dolce said during an interview on the recent episode of the MMA Hour. "It's more important than Johny Hendricks' career. Johny has a much longer life to live after this sport and he needs to do the things that are in his best interest and the best interest of his health. And that's getting his lifestyle in order. He needs to start cleaning up his diet, his lifestyle and living a much healthier existence. Then, he can think about fighting at 170 again."
Dolce stated that during the time he worked with Hendricks, the then-170-pound champion weighed up to 217-pounds when he started his camp. Hendricks and Dolce ended their work relationship after the rematch against Robbie Lawler at UFC 181 last December. Dolce revealed he was told by Hendrick's strength and conditioning coach, that he started his last camp with over 200 pounds again. Hendricks has always managed to fight through extreme weight-cuts and make the weight. This time he didn't, and Dolce says he won't be able to do it in the future anymore either.
"I was very sad for him. Number one, I was concerned about his health, which I've been concerned about a while knowing him and seeing the way he really mistreats his body in the offseason. He's not a 19, 20-year-old kid wrestling at Oklahoma [State]. He's a 30-something-year-old man with three babies and one on the way. He cannot do the things that he once did to his body and get away with them. I think that finally caught up with him before this fight.
"It was certainly a comedy of errors and most of it falls on Johny's shoulders for coming into camp much too heavy as he once did," Dolce said. "That was kind of his M.O., feeling that he could get the weight off. But in your early 30s, you just can't do that. With his body-fat percentage, you're not able to get that weight off in a healthy manner. You really start to dehydrate the organs in the process. And I think that's where his body started to shut down."
Going up to 185-pounds is no option for Hendricks as well, according to Dolce, since the top middleweight fighters in the UFC are simply to big for him to stand a chance. Dolces advice: Hendricks needs to take some time off and dedicate himself to living a healthy lifestyle.