The UFC has announced yet another move in the shell game of welterweight title contention. With Tarec Saffiedine out of UFC Fight Night 60, Brandon Thatch vs. Stephen Thompson has been declared as the card’s 5-round main event matchup. “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks will now face Saffiedine’s original opponent Matt Brown at UFC 185.
Following Hendricks vs. Lawler 2, Rory MacDonald was originally lined up for the welterweight shot. After the rematch, “Red King’s” shot was put on hold for the Hendricks vs. Lawler title trilogy. In the title shot shuffle of the welterweight division, Johny Hendricks has been removed from title contention as a replacement opponent for Matt Brown.
Georges St. Pierre enforced order in the welterweight division for roughly 6 years. With his indefinite departure after UFC 167, Hendricks won the absent title and lost it in the rematch to Robbie Lawler. Lawler is now without a title contending opponent, the only welterweight that can be sure of where he stands in the division.
As for the others? Rory Macdonald faces Hector Lombard at UFC 186. A win for Rory only makes him look like a better contender, but wins have been proven to be no sure fire guarantee. Lawler handed Rory one of only two losses in his career, so the rematch would definitely have the backing of a rivalry. Matt Brown was on a 7-fight winning streak before being stopped on his way up by Robbie Lawler in UFC on Fox 12. Matt Brown would also love to dish Lawler an ounce of payback. For the gate keepers of the welterweight division, the only guarantee is that things will remain truly “Lawless.”
After all the promises, who deserves to be next in line for the title fight? Who do you think will come out on top of Hendricks vs. Brown?