UFC 186, which is scheduled for Montreal, Quebec on April 25, will feature another major welterweight attraction, the promotion announced yesterday.
The event already boasted a pairing of two of the elite at 185 lbs: Rory MacDonald vs. Hector Lombard.
Previously, UFC President Dana White had stated that, with a win, MacDonald would be next in line for a title shot.
This new bout also has championship implications; matching two of the top ten in the division.
But — it’s probably not one which you may have imagined.
Former UFC welterweight kingpin Johny Hendricks, who was expected to fight the current champion Robbie Lawler in a rubber match next, will instead be fighting Matt Brown at the event.
It’s another shuffle for the UFC, who endured one switch after another in 2014.
Brown, whose MMA record stands at 19-12, was scheduled to face Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight Night 60, at February 14 in Bloomfield, Colorado. But Saffiedine has cancelled due to injury, leaving Brown, who has won six of his last seven bouts, without an opponent.
Brown’s new opponent Hendricks, who is 16-3 in MMA, recently revealed that his last cut to welterweight was so difficult that he considered retirement.
“I’ll have to be at 185 or done,” Hendricks told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour. “My body can’t take another one like that.”
But instead of a move to middleweight, or the expected showdown with Lawler, Hendricks has drawn Brown.
It is unclear where champion Lawler stands, but at least one member of the media has a creative idea, a return for longtime champion Georges St-Pierre:
Johnny Hendricks Vs Matt Brown in Dallas. at UFC 185.Everyone has fights but the champ and GSP. Hmmmmm…
— John Petit (@Scream13) January 13, 2015