UFC Crowns New Welterweight Champion
By Brady Stark
On 15 March the UFC crowned Johny Hendricks the UFC welterweight champion. Georges St. Pierre previously held the welterweight title from December 2007 to his retirement in December 2014, a span of 2204 days. Georges St. Pierre last fought on 16 November against Hendricks in UFC 167, a battle that was highly contested as most fans and UFC brass thought Hendricks did enough to win the fight. It only seemed natural that when St. Pierre stepped away from the octagon, the UFC would give Hendricks another shot at gold.
Looking to capture the gold he thought was his in November, Johny Hendricks was set to face Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title. Hendricks and Lawler went toe-to-toe for 25 minutes and, in the end, Hendricks had his name raised with an unanimous decision on all three judges’ scorecards. This fight of the night performance has ushered in a new welterweight reign which is sure to be a memorable one. Who is next in line to fight the champ?
Although this question will not be answered for several months due to Hendricks’ bicep surgery, contenders are already lining up to take out the champ. On the same night that Hendricks claimed the title, two more welterweight combatants entered the octagon in a number one contenders’ match.
Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley squared off inside the octagon for a match that most thought would be the fight of the night, if not an early contender for fight of the year; however, fate intervened as Woodley landed on Condit’s right knee during a takedown. Condit, trying to recover, fought for another few seconds, but then buckled as his knee collapsed under him.
Woodley, who is on a twofight win streak and has only lost twice in his 15fight career, is many people’s pick to battle Hendricks for his title when he recovers from his injury. Will Hendricks defend his title for as long as St. Pierre did? Will St. Pierre come back after his short time off portraying a Captain America Villain? These answers and more will be determined in the months to come.