UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is "about 85 percent" recovered from surgery on his right biceps last March, according to his wrestling coach Kenny Monday.
Hendricks, 31, is training on a daily basis without limitations and could even be ready to fight later this year, although it's likely he'll have to wait until at least February due to the UFC's currently booked pay-per-view schedule.
"I know everyone would have loved January, but it doesn't look like that's going to work out," Monday told ESPN.com. "I'm thinking he fights in February or March."
Ted Ehrhardt, Hendricks' manager, told ESPN.com that even though Hendricks is healthy and ready to accept a fight, he expects his first title defense to headline a UFC PPV. The UFC has announced its next six PPV main events, through Jan. 31.
According to Ehrhardt, Hendricks was willing to accept a fight prior to now, but the UFC wanted to make sure he was completely healthy before promoting his defense, in which he will face No. 1 contender Robbie Lawler.
"The last thing the UFC wanted was to start promoting a fight and have to postpone it if Johny had a setback," Ehrhardt said. "He's well past that point now but the schedule is full. He's a main event fighter and all the main events are taken. It looks like he'll fight sometime in February."
A source close to Lawler told ESPN.com that they have also been told January is "not looking good" for the welterweight title bout, but added Lawler would be ready to fight in February.
Hendricks (16-2) won the belt in a unanimous decision win over Lawler (24-10) at UFC 171 in March. After the bout, Hendricks revealed he had suffered a torn right biceps during training camp and would require surgery.