For the first time since 2007 the UFC crowned a welter weight champion other than Georges St. Pierre. On Saturday, March 15, 2014 Johny Hendricks defeated Robbie Lawler in a five round fight at UFC 171.
The fight was back and fourth from start to finish, Hendricks was hurt, cut but never out and secured key takedowns that earned him the UFC gold. Now Hendricks joins a new cast of UFC champions and the question is can his reign run as long as GSP’s?
Hendricks fought GSP last November and lost a decision that created controversy over the scoring of the fight and prompted then champion GSP to walk away from the sport. However in his second attempt at a world tittle, Hendricks known as ‘Big Rig’, got the decision, the UFC gold and is ready for a run as champion.
Hendricks joins a new cast of UFC champions replacing the old guard. Long-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva was defeated by Chris Weidman last summer. Then in December of 2013 Weidman successfully defeated Silva again and now will face Lyoto Machida in his second tittle defense.
The UFC has made a push in popularity by promoting dominant champions like GSP and Silva. Now in an era without ‘big name’ champions who of the current list of UFC belt holders will fill that void?
If you take a look at the last two fights for Hendricks it may be tough to slow down ‘Big Rig’ any time soon.