UFC President Dana White confirmed today that #1 contender Johny Hendricks (15-2) will take on Robbie Lawler (22-9, 1nc) at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas to determine a new welterweight champion after Georges St Pierre (25-2) announced that he would be vacating the title while he takes some indefinite time off.
The bout will serve as the main event for UFC 171, with the previously booked main event of Jon Jones (19-1) vs Glover Teixeira (22-2) for the light heavyweight title now moved to UFC 172, which is expected to take place in April. This now marks the third time that the bout between Jones and Teixeira has been re-arranged after two previous dates fell through due to the champion’s lingering injury troubles.
Hendricks of course goes into the bout off the back of his controversial split decision loss to Georges St Pierre at UFC 167. While it was St-Pierre who got the nod from the judges, many people felt it should have been the Oklahoma native who got his hand raised, following the five round war. However, that’s all in the past and the thirty year old NCAA Division One wrestler will now be delighted that he has a second opportunity at taking home the gold.
Prior to the battle with Georges, Hendricks had been on a tear in the UFC’s welterweight division, winning six fights straight, including highlight reel knockout’s of Jon Fitch (25-6-1, 1nc) and Martin Kampmann (20-7), and a “Fight of the Night” performance against Carlos Condit (29-7).
Lawler meanwhile, who is in his second stint with the UFC and holds an overall record of 7-3 with the promotion, is currently riding a three-fight winning streak since returning to the octagon. His streak include knockout win’s over both Bobby Voelker (24-10) and Josh Koscheck (17-8), as well a split decision victory against Rory MacDonald (15-2) in his last outing at UFC 167.
Dana also confirmed that Carlos Condit is expected to fight on the card, with an opponent still to be named, and while unannounced, it is likely that the winner of that bout will then become the next challenger to the welterweight title.
UFC 171 takes place on March 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. You can check out the updated card below.
Welterweight Title Bout – Johny Hendricks (15-2) will take on Robbie Lawler (22-9, 1nc)
Light Heavyweight Bout – Thiago Silva (16-3, 2nc) vs Ovince St Preux (14-5)
Middleweight Bout – Tor Troeng (16-5-1) vs Bubba McDaniel (21-7)
Welterweight Bout – Jake Shields (29-6-1, 1nc) vs Hector Lombard (33-4-1,1nc)
Lightweight Bout – Diego Sanchez (24-6) vs Myles Jury (13-0)
Welterweight Bout – Sean Spencer (11-2) vs Alex Garcia (11-1)