As the MMA world continues to buzz over what went down in Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler II, it remains to be seen if the UFC will book the rubber match next.
While Lawler’s split decision win is being viewed by some as controversial, Saturday’s scrap won’t be something fans forget anytime soon.
Since both bouts have been so entertaining, and competitive, many believe the UFC should go with Lawler-Hendricks III next. But, it’s important to remember that Rory MacDonald has also been promised a title shot.
Well, one man who evidently thinks MacDonald shouldn’t face Lawler next, is former welterweight champ and the latter’s buddy, Matt Hughes.
While speaking on “The MMA Hour” recently, here is some of what Hughes had to say, in terms of who he believes the newly crowned champ should fight(quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“How long ago was the MacDonald fight?” said Hughes. “Thirteen months ago? That’s not an old fight. Robbie won that pretty decisively, right?”
“You’ve got a guy that Robbie’s already beat pretty decisively, and now you’ve got a great rematch where the first fight was close, the second fight was maybe even closer, and now the makings for a third fight,” the legend furthered. “If I were Hendricks, I would want a direct rematch. And I would say that they’re going for that, and I don’t blame them.”
While it’s true that Lawler defeated MacDonald roughly 13 months ago, a large contingent of observers likely wouldn’t characterize the victory as “decisive.” Lawler won the bout by split decision, and while some would argue it should have been unanimous, it wasn’t like “Ruthless” bounced MacDonald around the cage for 15 minutes.
In addition, MacDonald is coming off impressive wins over Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine, so that would help the UFC promote the bout if they go in that direction.
Chances are, all this could depend on whether the champ’s looking to fight again soon, as Lawler fought four times in 2014. If he wants to take a lengthy break, then maybe the UFC will consider some other options, like a title shot eliminator.
The reality is, however, that Lawler-Hendricks III certainly wouldn’t have a problem selling tickets and pay-per-view buys…