Johny Hendricks may have some business to finish with Robbie Lawler, but the former welterweight champ admits he’s not sure whether he wants to face the new champ next, or Rory MacDonald.
Although the UFC hasn’t officially signed off on another title shot for Hendricks, the consensus is that he likely locked one up, by decisioning Matt Brown last month. Originally, the promotion announced it was going to move forward with Lawler-Hendricks III, but the champion decided to take some time off, and “Bigg Rigg” elected to keep busy. As a result, he defeated Brown at UFC 185, but the organization had already tapped MacDonald to fight Lawler at UFC 189.
“This has torn me for a while now,” Hendricks said. “You know there’s a part of me that would like to get a win over Robbie Lawler, but then again it was sort of nice to train for somebody new. You know for the three months, it gets boring for when you fought him, and you fought him, and you train for him, and you train for him and then going back and training for him again. I will, but it’s like, you want that, to train for him again so that you can get your hand raised and it could be over with. Or you could sit there and say ‘hey, it’d be nice for 3 and a half months to train for somebody like Rory MacDonald’. Train for new stuff to always improve.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. On one hand, there’s a lot of people who want to see a rubber match between Hendricks and Lawler, but with MacDonald, you’ve got the Georges St-Pierre’s teammate angle, and it’s also a new bout altogether.
It also remains to be seen if in fact, the UFC grants Hendricks another shot at the belt. Since Lawler-MacDonald won’t take place until July 11th, chances are the title won’t be up for grabs again until November or December. A lot can go down between now and then, and the promotion might call on Hendricks to take another fight in the interim. You never know.
UFC 189 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and will also feature Conor McGregor taking on featherweight champ, Jose Aldo.