“Bigg Rigg” was not too big to be a welterweight after all. After initially clocking 171.5 pounds on his first attempt on the scale Friday, 1.5 pounds over the limit for an MMA welterweight title affair, Johny Hendricks (pictured) used the two additional hours permitted to ultimately shed the excess water weight.
Hendricks weighed 170 pounds on his second and final try, the same weight opponent Robbie Lawler notched on his first attempt. The sluggers battle for the vacant welterweight title tomorrow at UFC 171.
Renowned MMA dietitian Mike Dolce, who worked with Hendricks throughout his training camp, was visibly upset as he stood by Hendricks next to the scale.
After Hendricks’ blunder on the scale, UFC president Dana White, who was understandably irate with the predicament, made an unprecedented move by announcing if Hendricks couldn’t make weight, a victorious Lawler would still be crowned the company’s new welterweight king on Saturday.
However, if an overweight Hendricks prevails, the belt would remain vacant.
While exceptions like that have been made in boxing, when one or both athletes fail to make the required weight in mixed martial arts, the championship tango is automatically demoted to a non-title bout.
For non-title affairs in MMA, fighters are allowed weigh as much as 171 pounds. Hendricks hit 170 pounds on the dot when he challenged then-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167 in November.
Hendricks may have taken the scenic route, but we ultimately ended up exactly where everyone expected to be in the first place. However, you’ve got to wonder how that last two hours of hell will affect Hendricks when he steps into the Octagon tomorrow.
UFC 171 takes place inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.