Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks’ middleweight debut was a success.
Hendricks, a two-time NCAA national wrestling champion at Oklahoma State, made his debut at 185 pounds after several failed weight cuts since November 2015 on Sunday in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 105. He won the bout by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 against Hector Lombard at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Hendricks (18-6) while it was the third consecutive loss for Lombard (34-7-1, 2 NC). Lombard’s last win was at UFC 171 in 2014 over Jake Shields.
Hendricks used his newfound stamina, footwork and clinch game to find the win. The 33-year-old weathered the pressure and punches from the former Bellator champion in the first round before adapting to Lombard’s timing and slipping in key left knee strikes in the second and third rounds.
“It feels awesome,” said Hendricks. “Hector Lombard is such a dangerous opponent you want to attack him but he’s got that one-punch power and I felt it in the third round. The sky’s the limit. I have energy, man. I can’t wait to see what I can do in the future.”