The UFC train waits for no man, including now-quasi-retired Georges St-Pierre who voluntarily relinquished his welterweight title on Friday to “take a break.”
UFC president Dana White moved swiftly to try and fill St-Pierre’s void by announcing former top contender Johny Hendricks (pictured) and Robbie Lawler will battle for St-Pierre’s vacated belt at UFC 171.
Hendricks is one month removed from his highly-controversial split decision defeat to St-Pierre at UFC 167. Most pundits, including White, believe Hendricks should have left Las Vegas with the title that night.
“Bigg Rigg” owns a 15-2 professional record and had rattled off six straight victories prior to meeting GSP.
Lawler, meanwhile, has been on a vicious tear since returning to the UFC. He’ll be riding a three-fight winning streak into the shootout.
UFC 171 goes down March 15 inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. A light heavyweight title tilt between champion Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira was slated to headline the pay-per-view broadcast, but that scrap has now been pushed back to UFC 172 so Hendricks vs. Lawler can take top billing.
Here is the card’s current lineup:
Sean Spencer vs. Alex Garcia
Bubba McDaniel vs. Tor Troeng
Myles Jury vs. Diego Sanchez
Thiago Silva vs. Ovince St. Preux
Hector Lombard vs. Jake Shields
Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks (for vacant UFC welterweight title)