When Johny Hendricks laid claim to the UFC’s welterweight title in March, no one could have called that the champ’s first title defense wouldn’t go down until one year later, and…that it would be against Robbie Lawler (yes, if you’re unaware, that’s the man he decisioned at UFC 171 to secure the vacant title).
Due to a torn bicep, and the subsequent surgery he underwent, Hendricks will close out 2014 without fighting again. Lawler, meanwhile, has been a very busy and violent beaver, as the welterweight has gone on to stop Jake Ellenberger and most recently, score a decision win over Matt Brown.
As a result, “Ruthless” has continued to lock down the #1 contender spot and has been tapped for another shot at Hendricks. Everyone’s just waiting to see, however, when the highly anticipated rematch will take place.
Well, in recent interview with ESPN.com, Hendricks’ manager Ted Ehrhardt provided the following update on the champ.
“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.”
“Bigg Rigg’s” wrestling coach, Kenny Monday, also offered this regarding Hendricks’ return:
“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.”
Monday also reportedly relayed that Hendricks is about “85%” recovered from his surgery.
While it would have been interesting to see Hendricks fight again this year, as he had some serious momentum going there, spring 2015 is shaping up quite nicely. You’ve got Jones-Cormier on January 3rd, probably a title fight with Rousey in around then as well, Silva-Diaz on January 31st (well hopefully….), and possibly Hendricks-Lawler not long after.
Then things could get really, really interesting if Mr. Georges St-Pierre decides he wants to come back and challenge for the title.
The 31 year-old Hendricks (16-2) has gone 11-2 since joining the UFC in 2009, and the only other man to defeat him, aside from GSP, is Rick Story.