After Johny Hendricks pulled out of Saturday’s UFC 192 co-main event, the UFC announced that Tyron Woodley would get the next shot at the UFC welterweight title of Robbie Lawler.
Woodley was set to fight Hendricks in a title eliminator bout at UFC 192 but Hendricks experienced health problems while cutting weight for the bout. According to Ted Ehrhardt, Hendricks’ manager, the former champ was taken to an ER last Thursday after suffering an intestinal blockage and a kidney stone. He was “pulled” by a doctor and given an IV. Prior to this incident, Hendricks had never missed weight before. However, during his rematch with Lawler, he initially tipped the scales ½ pound overweight but made the weight clean during his second attempt. There were reports that Hendricks was 20 pounds overweight on Tuesday or four days before the weigh-in but was down to 183 lbs right before he was hospitalized. Hendricks’ had been hinting to move up in weight and with this development, he is most probably going to fight at middleweight in his next fight.
Johny’s Loss is Tyron’s Gain
While Woodley was somewhat disappointed he didn’t prove himself inside the Octagon, he called Henricks’ loss his gain. Woodley said that he trained hard and was ready to fight. He even took the scales on Friday’s weigh-in to prove his point. The UFC said that Woodley would get his “show money” for the Hendricks fight but that is not the bigger prize. UFC President Dana White told Yahoo Sports in an interview that Woodley will face the winner between the January 2 welterweight title bout between champion Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. The 3rd ranked Woodley has been fighting since 2009 and has not won a world title. In the only title fight of his MMA career, Woodley suffered his first loss after getting knocked out by Nate Marquardt for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight title in 2012. Woodley is 5-2 in the UFC and has beaten Josh Koschek, Carlos Condit and Kevin Gastelum in the Octagon. His last loss at UFC 174 gave Rory MacDonald a title shot against Lawler.
Woodley becomes an unlikely title challenger without a big win to earn the shot. But that wasn’t his fault. One UFC official confirmed Dana White’s pronouncement on Woodley’s title shot but reiterated that “timing” would still be crucial for Woodley to fight for the title. Should Lawler go on to beat Condit and retain his title, fans are still salivating about a third fight between Lawler and MacDonald who engaged in an incredibly brutal five round war at UFC 189 last July. MacDonald is ranked #2 or one higher than Woodley and a rematch between the two before a date with Lawler would also be a good one to make.