Eaerlier today, MMA Junkie reported that Johny Hendricks, not Rory Macdonald, will get the first crack at new UFCWelterweight Champion Robbie Lawler. That’s despite the fact that the two have fought twice already in the past nine months.
The first fight occurred at UFC 171, back in March 15. The fight was scored unanimously for Hendricks, by a score of 48-47. Essentially, that means the final round, in which Hendricks wrestled Lawler down for the majority of the five minutes, was the one that gave him the win.
After that fight, Hendricks needed surgery to repare a torn bicep, while Lawler tore through Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown in late May and July
The two wins resulted in Lawler getting a rematch at UFC 181 on December 6th. The first fight was great. The second, well, not so much. Hendricks tried his best to wrestle Lawler down, which only worked on occasion. Quite a few times, he was trying to take Lawler down, but failed to do so.
In the end, although many people seemed to believe Hendricks had clearly won the fight, Lawler was given a split decision victory. One judge gave the fight to Hendricks by a score of 48-47, while another did the same for Lawler. However, Glenn Trowbridge gave the fight to Lawler by a score of 49-46. The fight seemed like a robbery, but it seemed as if many fans were okay with that. Perhaps that speaks to the popularity of Lawler, and recent disdain towards Hendricks.
So, the rematch will happen, likely on March 14th, in Dallas.
Are you kidding me?
Granted, I live in Dallas, so this gives me another chance to attend a UFC event, but come on! Since longtime Welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre retired following a controversial victory over Hendricks at UFC 167 back in November 2013, there have been two Welterweight championship fights, both involving Lawler and Hendricks. And now, there will be three straight involving these men!
Granted, both fights were close and controversial, but a rematch already? It will be Hendricks’ fourth straight title fight, despite the fact that he has gone just 1-2 in those fights. Each was fairly entertaining, but to have him fight another title fight is rather mind-boggling, especially considering that Lawler’s other potential opponent, Rory MacDonald, has not fought Lawler since that UFC 167 event. The fight was fun, and would be a fresher option, in my opinion.
One thing that might be in play is a potential return by St. Pierre. He and MacDonald have refused to fight each other over the years, should the moment come, so maybe the UFC is shunning him in hopes of a possible GSP return. Tehre’s no guarantee of this, but the development of the Hendricks/Lawler trilogy does create suspicion.
In the end, I feel as if this fight is clogging up a pretty damn good division. MacDonald is worthy of a shot, and Hendricks should not get an immediate rematch after “losing” his first title defense. He should be fighting the winner of the upcoming UFC 183 co-main event battle between Kelvin Gastelum and Tyron Woodley, or the winner of Saturday’s main card opening bout between former WSOF Welterweight challenger Josh Burkman and former Bellator Middleweight champion Hector Lombard first. Instead, he gets this fight, and despite the fact that it’s possibly going to happen in my hometown, it seems unfair to me.
So, yeah, bah humbug.