The Ultimate Fighting Championship is still quite capable of throwing a head turning curveball, as today the promotion announced that Johny Hendricks will throw down with Matt Brown on March 14th. Yes, that’s right. After telling the MMA world, and Rory MacDonald, that Robbie Lawler-Johny Hendricks III was next, it turns out the latter will battle Brown at UFC 185.
So does this mean that MacDonald is going to face Lawler? After he was told last fall that he had locked up a title shot? Not necessarily.
In a follow up report from MMA Fighting.com, Hendricks’ manager, Ted Ehrhardt, confirmed that Hendricks took the scrap with Brown, because he wants to stay busy. According to Ehrhardt, Lawler doesn’t want to fight until summer. The latter’s rep, American Top Team’s Dan Lambert, also confirmed that Lawler doesn’t want to fight before May, since he’s coming off a four fight campaign in 2014.
Lawler and Hendricks met for the first time in March, 2013, and the latter laid claim to the vacant welterweight title by scoring a UD win. The two were booked for a rematch at UFC 181 last month, however, and in that fight, Lawler took the belt via a split decision victory. Prior to the rematch, Lawler worked his way to a decision win over Brown in July, and in May, he stopped Jake Ellenberger.
Brown was originally scheduled to fight Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight Night 60 on February 14th, but the former Strikeforce champ recently withdrew due to an injury. As a result, the UFC has announced that a welterweight fight between Stephen Thompson and Brandon Thatch has been moved into the main event slot.
Recently it was reported that MacDonald has agreed to fight Hector Lombard on April 25th, however, the bout has yet to be finalized.
UFC 185 will be hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and UFC FN 60 will be hosted by Broomfield’s 1st Bank Center.