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Johny Hendricks on bare-knuckle boxing: ‘I have a feeling I could do it for a while’

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Johny Hendricks may have retired from mixed martial arts competition last June, but his combat sports venture has not ended just yet. In mid-September, it was announced that the 35-year-old ex-UFC champion will be headlining the debut event of the World Bare-Knuckle Fighting Federation this November.

And according to Hendricks, this transition into another realm of fighting is not a one-off venture.

“Man, you know what? I have a feeling I could do it for a while,” Hendricks said on this past week’s episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “My first coach ever in MMA, he was a bare-knuckle world champ in Thailand. He showed me a lot of techniques, how to strengthen your hand and all of that kind of stuff, how you can actually punish the body and where to hit on the arms, this and this, what to look for.”

“So I’m sort of going back to that stage as well, where to hit on the arms, how to make sure that after the first round — let’s say it goes past the first round — that he can no longer use his right arm because it hurts too bad, or his left arm, because I keep punishing it the way [I want to with] some of the gameplans I have in my head already. Those things can help.”

“Big Rigg” is slated to face former Bellator title contender Brennan Ward, whom he says he does not know much about. What he is certain of, however, is that he has an edge in terms of punching accuracy.

“I think what’s going to happen is he’s going to be looking to land that right hand, just as I’m looking to land my left hand,” Hendricks said. “The only difference is that, with bare knuckle, you can’t throw as hard as you want to. It’s about accuracy, and that’s what really makes me excited about this, because I am a very accurate puncher.

“My accuracy is very well whenever it comes to seeing where the punch lands, where it needs to land, and sort of what comes next. … This is what [my coach Tony Cabello] has done forever. He grew up boxing.”

The first-ever WBKFF event takes place on November 9th in Wyoming. Also part of the card are former UFC fighters such as Chris Leben, Josh Neer, and Phil Baroni.


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